Safety First
Summer 2013

Deep South - We're On
The Road With You

In This Issue

The Prevention of Driver Fatigue - Hours of Service Rule Changes Effective July 1, 2013

Driver Fitness - First In A Series - Sleep Apnea

Carrier Tips For Managing CSA

Loss Control Employee Spotlight: David Thompson

Does Your Company Have a Cell Phone Use Policy?

Thoughts From Ward

Commercial Vehicle Safe Driving Tips + Real-World Videos

Visit Deep South's Web Based Loss Control Resources




800-910-7349 fax


800-357-6884 fax


877-389-6235 fax


888-713-9044 fax


800-686-6128 fax


The Continuing Challenge of Distracted Driving

The evidence continues to build that distracted driving is a major issue on the roadways of America. From texting while driving, to talking on cell phones, to interacting with in dash technology, distracted driving needs to be an area of focus for businesses and households. Please see the links to distracted driving resources below.

National Safety Council - Understanding The Distracted Brain

US Department of Transportation - Distracted Driving Website




Commercial Vehicle Safe Driving Tips + Real-World Videos


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration developed web-based safe driving tips to address common commercial driver errors that often lead to accidents. The web-based tips are supported by real-world video from inside the cabs of vehicles that took part in a broad-based naturalistic study conducted by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI). The short video clips provide compelling illustration as to the hazards involved and the importance of following the safety tips. The website is an excellent resource for fleet safety managers and others interested in improving safety practices.

FMCSA Safe Driving Tips


Deep South Loss Control Contact Information






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Thoughts From Ward

As is the case for many Americans, the issue of wellness and fitness is becoming an area of greater focus for companies and individuals. We all know that the healthier we are and the better we feel, the better we perform.

Most certainly, wellness and fitness is an important element of transportation safety as it relates to drivers operating trucks and other heavy equipment. From a pure safety management and productivity perspective, it just makes sense. Many companies are already starting to focus on the issue today. In addition, regulators are starting to address the issue in a broader and more proactive way.

In this issue and upcoming issues of Safety First, we will focus on a series of wellness and fitness issues as they relate to transportation safety. Employee wellness and fitness is all about smart business practices for companies that operate fleets of vehicles. Beyond that it is simply the right thing to do.

If you need assistance with developing your safety and risk management program, contact Deep South at Ask An Expert.

Ward Johnson is Vice-President of Loss Control at Deep South and is a veteran of the loss control and risk management business.


Ask An Expert Contact Information






The Prevention of Driver Fatigue - Hours of Service Rule Changes Effective July 1, 2013

Recent changes in hours of service rules promulgated by the Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) are designed to address the issue of driver fatigue. A number of large studies conducted through the years by government and industry in the United States and other nations point to the substantial impact driver fatigue has on safety. The Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) conducted by the FMCSA reported that 13 percent of Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers were considered to have been fatigued at the time of their crash.

In a May 2013 interview with the BBC, Dr. Daniel Blower from the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute stated, "Fatigue is difficult to identify post-crash because there are no physical markers, like the sort that can be identified using blood tests, as for drugs and alcohol." He continued to say, "The best estimate that I have seen is that the true incidence of fatigue in truck crashes is likely to be two to three times higher than in the captured crash data."

Clearly, driver fatigue relative to commercial drivers is an issue that requires attention. As a result, effective July 1, 2013 the FMCSA put new Hours of Service rules in place. There are a number of changes that require the compliance of commercial drivers and their companies. To help clients and prospective clients understand the changes, Deep South developed an easy to use two-page summary designed to help understand the new rules. Please see the link below. There are also a number of other links of interest about this topic provided.

Deep South Hours of Service Summary

Driver Fatigue Prevention Safety Tips FMCSA
Take The Drowsy Driver Quiz
Driver Fatigue Tracking Equipment Article - May 28, 2013 - BBC News

For further assistance or information about the Hours of Service Rule Change please contact your Deep South Loss Control representative. If you are not currently a Deep South client, we encourage you to contact one of our Deep South offices for information about professional independent agencies in your area that represent Deep South. 

Driver Fitness - First In A Series - Sleep Apnea

For many commercial truck drivers, finding time to exercise, eat healthy and stay fit is no simple matter after spending many hours in the cab of a truck during the course of a week. Nevertheless, it is a significant issue relative to a drivers ability to support a successful career in the transportation industry and maintain a good quality of life. From a safety perspective, it is critical that commercial drivers be able to meet the physical and mental challenges of operating large commercial vehicles safely. In this and upcoming issues of Safety First, we will examine a number of driver fitness related topics and offer solutions for drivers and transportation companies.

Across the nation, the incidence of sleep apnea in the general population has been increasing. According to the National Institutes of Health sleep apnea is a common disorder in which a person has one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while  sleeping. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. Sleep apnea is usually is a chronic condition that disrupts sleep. When breathing pauses or becomes shallow, people often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep. As a result, the quality of sleep is poor, which creates fatigue during the day. Sleep apnea is a leading cause of excessive daytime sleepiness.

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. In this condition, the airway collapses or becomes blocked during sleep. This causes shallow breathing or breathing pauses. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in people who are overweight, but it can affect anyone. Beyond the excessive daytime sleepiness that can occur, the health implications can be serious including high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, diabetes, heart failure.

A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania and sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the American Transportation Research Institute of the American Trucking Associations found that almost one-third (28 percent) of commercial truck drivers have mild to severe sleep apnea. The FMCSA states :

Because sleep apnea affects your sleep, it also affects your daytime alertness and performance. Untreated sleep apnea can make it difficult for you to stay awake, focus your eyes, and react quickly while driving. In general, studies show that people with untreated sleep apnea have an increased risk of being involved in a fatigue-related motor vehicle crash.

Many sleep apnea patients say they never fall asleep while driving. That may be true. But remember, you don’t have to fall asleep to have a crash. You simply have to be inattentive or less alert.

If a driver suspects that sleep apnea is impacting their well-being and performance, the driver should contact a qualified medical doctor for evaluation as soon as possible. If it is determined the driver has sleep apnea, the FMSCA has a specific protocol that must be followed. It is important to note that drivers can continue to drive with a mild case of sleep apnea while those with moderate to advanced sleep apnea must receive treatment and be medically cleared to drive. Listed below are resources provided by the Federal Motor Carrier Administration and other professional organizations. If you are a driver, or the operator of a fleet of vehicles, we encourage you to browse through the material provided by the through the links below.

Driving When You Have Sleep Apnea - FMCSA
Spotlight On Sleep Apnea - FMCSA  

The Sleep Apnea Poster For Companies To Distribute -FMCSA
American Sleep Apnea Association
Sleep Apnea Center - WebMD

Carrier Tips For Managing Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA)

One of the key's to success in managing any transportation organization or a company that operates a fleet of vehicles is managing compliance, safety and accountability (CSA) from the perspective of Federal Motor Carrier Administration rules and regulations. To assist clients with this important issue, Deep South has developed a few tips compiled and utilized over the last several years by our Loss Control Consultants. These tips have proven to be very effective. It is important to communicate these tips to help manage an organization's CSA practices and procedures. Utilizing these guidelines can help prevent DOT interventions such as early warning letters, audits, fines, and ceasing of a company’s operations.

>> Routinely check your SMS (Safety Measurement System) score by going to and entering your DOT number or company name.

>> Obtain a PIN number from DOT that will allow you to access carrier and driver specific information. You can do this by going to and looking under “Registration & Licensing.”

>> Always make sure your vehicles, trailers, and annual miles are correct and up to date with your MCS-150 filing with DOT since this in part is used to account for each motor carrier’s level of on the road exposure when calculating the “Unsafe Driving” and “Crash Indicator Behavior Analysis” categories under the SMS BASIC. DOT updates the SMS information monthly so your changes should be reflected the following month on their website. Go to to update your MCS-150 information or the main website at

>> Ensure that your drivers and mechanics are properly trained in conducting pre-trip inspections and that routine maintenance procedures and paperwork documentation is in order.

It is important that your DOT annuals are conducted each year for all CMV’s (Commercial Motor Vehicles) per DOT rules and regulations. Contact your Deep South Loss Control Consultant for assistance and guidance as needed and utilize our online resources at, “Ask An Expert” or contact us at (855)258-8178.

You can also follow us at twitter@deepsouth67.


Loss Control Employee Spotlight: Meet David Thompson

In this issue of Safety First, we continue spotlighting key members of our loss control staff. Deep South's loss control consultants deliver substantial value to clients helping them to improve safety programs, improve compliance, reduce exposure to loss and contain the total cost of risk. In this issue of Safety First, we are featuring Executive Loss Control Consultant David Thompson based out of our Shreveport office.

David has over thirty years of safety management and loss control experience with more than twenty years of experience in the insurance industry working with clients. His experience includes all lines of insurance coverage and the risk associated with those lines of business. David has been a Certified Safety Professional for more than twenty-five years. He has been employed with Deep South since 2006.

David is a Six Sigma Green Belt with specific skill sets related to the management of quality and continuous improvement. His skills related to quality management capitalize upon the natural ties between effective safety management programs and quality management programs since the two are often closely correlated in most organizations.    

David graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in Industrial Technology Occupational Safety and Health in 1981 and has continued his education and development through the years. He is a professional member of the American Society of Safety Engineers for over 30 years.

When David is not working, he enjoys spending time with his grandsons, playing basketball and attending LSU Tiger and New Orleans Saints football games.

Does Your Company Have A Cell Phone Use Policy?

From a risk management and loss control perspective, it is very important businesses have a company cell phone use policy in place, clearly communicated and enforced. To assist clients with this important issue, Deep South has developed resources to help control the substantial exposure to loss companies face from cell phone use in commercial vehicles. Please click on the links below to access these valuable resources:

Deep South Cell Phone Use Bulletin
Deep South Cell Phone Use Policy Model - Non FMCSA
Deep South Cell Phone Use Policy Model - FMCSA


Visit Deep South's Loss Control Web-Based Resources

Deep South's loss control department continues to add a wide range of valuable resources to the loss control section of the website. In the Clients Only Section of the website, new issues of Risk Watch are posted regularly along with other alerts and publications designed to help clients reduce their exposure to risk. Be sure to check back often for new information and resources. Here are some of the things that you will now find at

Ask An Expert - 24/7/365 access to loss control staff to get answers to questions
Risk Watch
- Comprehensive reviews of safety topics (Client Only)
Tool Box Safety Talks
- Resource materials to guide safety meetings (Client Only)
Sound Bites on Safety
- Brief audio files on safety topics

And More Resources...................

> A listing of the services that we are able to provide
> A comprehensive menu of direct links to major safety resource websites
> Access to our library of on-line videos. (Client Only)
> Printable brochures and informational flyers.    

Link >> Deep South Loss Control Web Resources



The information, examples and suggestions presented in this material have been developed from sources believed to be reliable and are considered to be “best practices” for the industry. This information is offered exclusively for the purpose of improving the insurability of your company’s operation and/or premises. Deep South, Inc. makes no guarantees, expressed or implied, that the information shared or implementation of the policies in this document will prevent loss or injury to persons and/or equipment. The information in this document should be modified to fit your company’s particular situation and we strongly recommend consultation with competent legal counsel and/or other professional advisors before applying this material in any particular factual situations.