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Highway Fatalities Increased in 2021
Mariah Barr
6 mins read

Anyone traveling on public roads and highways knows how important it is to drive safely. Unfortunately, we also know all drivers do not always follow the rules and regulations put in place to help ensure everyone’s safety on the road.  

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Case in point, over 20,000 people died in motor-vehicle-related accidents within the first half of 2021 according to the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (DOT NHTSA).  This is the largest six-month increase ever recorded in the Fatality Analysis Reporting System’s history. 

Last year’s 18.4% spike in deaths on U.S. roads from 2020 could put a strain on motor carriers, especially those in the 50th percentile of the Unsafe Driving BASIC category, putting them at risk of an onsite or offsite audit. 

You may have already received a warning letter from the FMCSA that emphasized this issue. This is just one part of the DOT’s increased focus on roadway safety and removing unfit CMV drivers from the roads, which will likely continue to be one of its most pressing priorities. 

The last thing motor carriers need is to lose more drivers, especially during the current crippling shortage. But forming a fleet of motivated, yet cautious drivers can save you the headache of handling potential future violations – or worse – accidents that lead to serious injuries or death. The good news is, you don’t have to tackle the process of hiring safe drivers alone. 

Of course, this isn’t strictly a CMV driver issue; it also reflects the dangerous habits of anyone driving on the roadways. Since there is a clear increase in unsafe drivers overall, regularly communicating safety stats such as the above findings of the NHTSA with your fleet helps bring light to the vigilance your drivers must have both off and on the job. 

Driver Safety Starts at the Beginning 

How can you make sure new hires will best represent your company’s safety culture? Thorough background checks can get your fleet on the right track from the start. Although they are necessary for DOT compliance, the background screening process isn’t always easy. 

With Foley’s background screening services, it’s almost effortless to get all the pre-hire information you need in one place. From CDLIS verification to criminal background checks and every DOT-required screening in between, each screen is taken care of in record time, and individual results can be accessed through each driver’s profile on any digital device when they’re ready.  

One of the services we provide at Foley is the Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP). This is a snapshot of a commercial drivers’ safety record from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS). You’ll be able to see a driver’s most recent 5 years of crash data and 3 years of roadside inspection data. If any crashes or inspection violations are reported, the record will show the motor carrier the driver worked for, the location and date of the event, and additional details on the severity of the crash or violation. 

Foley can also check all prospective drivers in the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS). This is a database managed by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) that identifies a driver’s current Commercial Driver’s License number and the issuing state. It also identifies up to three previous CDLs held by the driver – even any held under a former name or an alias. This is required for all states by the federal government.  

Simply send the screening application to the driver once your company is enrolled in Foley’s convenient program and we’ll take care of the rest. Just like the results, the application can be completed on any device. The combination of driver experience and their screening results gives you the ability to make informed hiring decisions, which sets your company up for safety and compliance success for the long term. 

Continuous Monitoring Keeps You in the Know 

Once the driver (hopefully) passes their background check, it is best practice to enroll them and all other drivers in an MVR Monitoring program. Like our background screening service, Foley’s MVR monitoring program is completely automated. Any new moving violations, licensing issues, or medical card expirations are reported in real-time for you to manage directly on your online platform.  

Questions About DOT Background Checks and Screening? We Can Help!

Using a streamlined driver observation process gives you the ability to proactively spot unsafe driving habits. That way, you can make informed decisions about addressing continuous violations while meeting state and federal compliance obligations. 

Make sure your fleet doesn’t become a statistic. Hire safe and reputable drivers, encourage and reward safe driving practices when possible, and take advantage of Foley’s comprehensive driver screening and monitoring services. The sooner your carrier’s safety on the road takes priority, the better. 

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