Dear Truck & Delivery Drivers.

November 23rd, 2022

Dear Truck & Delivery Drivers.

Unprecedented times. It’s a phrase we’ve all heard what feels like a million times since March of 2020. When the coronavirus pandemic struck the United States and changed the way we live, a number of heroes stepped up to the plate to ensure we would have what we needed. Doctors and nurses worked tirelessly to help the sick. Teachers taught from their living rooms virtually to help kids stay ahead. Grocery store workers, food service workers, and many other front line employees went above and beyond to help when there were more questions than answers. All of these individuals are incredible, but we want to highlight the heroes who drove overnight to deliver PPE and toilet paper. The truck drivers who worked overtime to keep store shelves stocked. The local delivery drivers who worked to ensure every online order was delivered while the country was shut down. 

This letter is for you, truck and delivery drivers. Looking back over the past almost two years, we know things have not been easy. However, you all never backed down, and your hard work did not go unnoticed. To be honest, you all saved countless lives because you made sure hospitals had the supplies they needed to help COVID patients. Those of you who deliver food to schools made it possible for them to put together meals students could pick up so they would have something to eat while they learned from home. Then once the coronavirus vaccine was ready, you all helped distribute it across the country so that we could begin returning to our normal lives. No matter what role you played, you made a difference.

You know, several years back, CDL Life wrote an article about what would happen if trucks just stopped. In less than a day, we would begin to feel the impact because hospitals would begin running out of basic supplies. Within 2-3 days, food shortages would become a major issue, and gas stations would run out of fuel. CDL Life says that within a month, clean water would be scarce and people would begin getting sick because of their weakened immune systems. As you can see, you all are a necessity to our country. Next time you begin feeling stressed or tired on the job, just remember that all of us at Lee-Smith appreciate you and the work you do every single day. 

As we approach the holiday season, we know you all are going to become even busier as you help Santa deliver. If your truck or delivery vehicle begins acting up during this season, we are here to help just like always. All you have to do is give us a call at 423-622-4161. Our service team is honored to serve you and help you get back on the road. 

Never forget that we have your back. Keep up the good work. 

Sincerely, 

Lee-Smith, Inc. 

Posted by Lee-Smith

Sleep is free, but many people don’t get enough of it. It’s recommended by the CDC that adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Not getting enough sleep can have serious consequences for anyone behind the wheel. Six in 10 drivers have admitted to driving a vehicle when they struggled to keep their eyes open according to the National Sleep Foundation. Truck drivers, this statistic is extremely important because you are surrounded by other drivers on the road who may be dozing off. Driving drowsy is dangerous, and our Lee-Smith team wants to help keep you and all other drivers safe on the road. Here are some important tips to help you stay safe and awake.


Tip 1: Know the Signs of Drowsy Driving
Have you ever found yourself forgetting the last few miles you drove? This has probably happened to all of us at one time or another. However, it is one of the main signs that you need to get some rest. Other signs to watch for include yawning repeatedly, blinking frequently and rubbing your eyes. You may also miss an exit or a turn because you’re struggling to focus. If you think you need to take a break and get some zzz’s, then you probably do. Unfortunately, you cannot be responsible for other drivers on the road who may be driving drowsy, but you can watch their driving for signs of drowsiness. If you notice other vehicles around you driving recklessly or drifting between lanes, keep a good distance between you and them. 


Tip 2: Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a late-night burger right before you drift off to dreamland isn’t ideal. Instead, try to create a routine so that you eat around the same time each day. We know this can be difficult to do as a truck or delivery driver, but try to stay on schedule when possible. If you do feel the need to grab a snack before bed, choose something light. Not eating at regular times or skipping meals can lead to fatigue. Fatigue can cause memory lapses, lack of awareness, reduced attention, and slower reaction times. All of these can hinder your ability to drive safely. 


Tip 3: Take a Nap
If you find yourself struggling to stay awake in the middle of the day, then pull over and take a quick nap. Naps should last between 10-45 minutes according to the National Sleep Foundation. Contrary to popular belief, drinking coffee does not have the same effect on you as taking a nap. Sure, caffeine can help you stay awake, but you’re right back to where you started once the effects of it wear off. Also, don’t try to keep yourself awake by rolling down a window or blasting the radio. These tricks will not cure your drowsiness and can make things worse since they are distracting. 


Tip 4: Be Extra Careful When Driving at Night
Many commercial drivers need to drive overnight to reach their destination on time. However, your body is wired to feel naturally drowsy after midnight. If you have to drive overnight, make sure to get enough sleep during the day to help you stay awake and drive safely. Also, be prepared to be an overly defensive driver because other drivers around you may be falling asleep at the wheel. 


One Last Word
Drivers, you are important, and we always want you to arrive at your destination safely. Stay tuned for additional safety tips that we will feature in our blog from time to time. You can also follow us on social media. Please take the necessary precautions to ensure that you won’t have to drive drowsy. As always, stay safe!

Posted by Lee-Smith

Safety should always come first in the trucking industry. Thanks to today’s technologically savvy world, new ideas and products, that can help elevate safety standards, are being introduced all the time. These products are being designed to help reduce and prevent crashes and make the roads a safer place for all drivers. At Lee-Smith, we’re committed not only to being available to assist with all of your trucking needs but also to taking opportunities to educate drivers about advances in technology that can make their jobs easier and safer. For this month’s blog, we’re taking a deeper look at some of the technologies that are now available to make your drive as safe as can be. 

The Numbers

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) released fatality facts involving large truck crashes in a report focused on data from the year 2019. That year alone, 11% of deadly crashes involved trucks. In total, over 4,100 people died in these crashes. As you well know, semi-trucks are designed differently than the average passenger vehicle. When you are carrying a heavy load, coming to a hard stop is not as fast or easy. In fact, it takes anywhere between 20-40% longer for a loaded tractor-trailer to come to a complete stop. Time is everything when you are trying to stop to avoid a collision. How do we fix this major problem? Examining today’s technology is a great place to start. 

The Technology

Data shows that new technologies like forward collision warning, automated braking systems and electronic stability control (ECS) can all help reduce the number of crashes. USDOT’s research shows that by adding forward collision warning technology and automated emergency braking systems to trucks, rear-end collisions caused by trucks could be lowered by a whopping 40%. This is huge and important information for companies to consider when purchasing their next fleet of trucks according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The IIHS said that even in crashes that could not be totally prevented, it found that truck speeds were lowered when these systems were used. Since August of 2019, ESC has been required on all new truck tractors and busses because it helps prevent jackknives and rollovers that are often caused when a truck loses stability. The IIHS says that research taken over a four-year period showed that close to 31,000 truck crases could be prevented or mitigated thanks to ESC. To put that another way, the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration says we could see a massive drop of between 40-56% of untripped rollovers thus saving many lives. 

Companies should also consider adding dual cameras to their trucks if they do not already have them. These cameras not only provide evidence that can be used in the event of a crash to show fault but also provide a look inside the truck. Knowing that you are being recorded can encourage you to stay alert and pay closer attention while on the road. Some cameras also include a sleep mode that can active the cameras to record if someone backs into them, etc. even if the vehicle is turned off. (Source)

How Lee-Smith Can Help

In today’s world, new technology is being introduced every day. Our hope is that drivers and companies will take a serious look at these products and see how they can make the industry and roads safer for everyone. Our team is happy to answer any questions and provide recommendations on which safety products you should consider. Give us a call at (423) 707-2946 or reach out to us on our website

Posted by Lee-Smith