Overdrive Magazine

October 2019

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8 | Overdrive | October 2019 Visit Senior Editor Todd Dills' CHANNEL 19 BLOG at OverdriveOnline.com/channel19 Write him at tdills@randallreilly.com Twitter: @channel19todd Reader Bob Stanton's displayed quote was in response to the Sept. 5 post on Channel 19 about the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's proposal to expand its Crash Prevent- ability Demonstration Program. Car- riers can use it to request preventable/ nonpreventable determinations on speci c types of crashes through the DataQs system and have those crash- es removed from scoring metrics in the CSA SMS. e e ort is aimed at improving data quality by including a measure of crash accountability. It also proposes, however, to leave crashes visible in the system and ag those that went through an evaluation process with "preventable," "nonpreventable" or "undecided." The Motor Carrier Regulatory Reform coalition argued such a labeling might be tantamount to putting another "scarlet letter" on carriers unlucky enough to have a crash submitted for removal judged preventable or undecided. Stanton says those unintended consequenc- es, when used by a personal injury lawyer, could be analogous to the use of those "alert" golden triangles, which have since been removed from the CSA scoring system. That past labeling provided a reason for brokers and shippers not to do business with a carrier, despite known peculiarities and inequities in FMCSA's system. As MCRR spokesman and attorney Hank Seaton put it, the preventability term is "an arti cial construct which is con ated by plainti 's bar with legal liability or fault." 'Preventable' crash verdict can be distorted Headed into winter, an inquiring mind among readers wants to know: I have had my convex mirrors crack in the wintertime more than once and was wondering if I am the only one and what people have found to stop it. We put the question to owner-op- erator Mark Kirbyson, hauling in the frigid Northeast and Canada in a 2007 Peterbilt. For convex mirrors, provided they're the familiar manual style, Kirbyson has dealt with cracks himself, particularly in winter. He says moisture can get trapped between the back of the mirror and the housing. Not only can this rust fastening screws, but when the mois- ture freezes and expands, it also can crack the mirror. Kirbyson has tried preventive measures: • Seal the housing. When installing replacement mir- rors, add clear silicone around the fastening mechanism and around the edge of the housing to prevent entry of moisture. • Manually create moisture drain. If there's not one there that's obvious, drill a very small hole in the bottom of the housing of a mirror already in place to allow moisture to escape when it does get behind the mirror. At once, most manual convex mirror assemblies come with a drain hole, so improper mounting could be the issue, says Tennes- see-based small-fleet owner Wayne VanHooser. If there's any question about how to mount the unit, be sure the hole is at the bottom, he says. Preventing convex mirror cracks in wintertime Moisture in the housing is often the cause when a mirror cracks in subfreezing temperatures. Owner-operator Mark Kirbyson Crash preventability v. fault is a big problem. Ambulance chasers don't understand the difference, or don't care if they can get a settlement. – Bob Stanton, via the Overdrive's Trucking Pro LinkedIn group

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