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The Nation

Musician Ric Steel gets patent for anti-texting app



MEMPHIS, Tenn. โ€” Headline entertainer and musician Ric Steel said he has received a patent for his new app called S.A.L.T., which is the acronym for Save A Life Texting.

The app connects texting to the GPS on a mobile phone and intercepts texts when a vehicle is going above three miles an hour without disturbing the driver.

It immediately sends an automated text response that the person texted is driving and to call if there is an emergency or a prompt reply needed.

Once the driver is stopped, the message is safely displayed making sure that the driver still gets the message. There is also an adolescent version of the app that cannot be removed or unused without notifying the parent.

Over 2.5 million people in the U.S. are involved in road accidents each year, according to the website, which indicated that of these accidents, 1.6 million involve a cell phone, which is 64 percent of all the road accidents in the United States.

โ€œThe basic app will be free to the public. I believe that S.A.L.T. can save 10,000 lives this year alone in the United States. That hardly touches the number of people that will be injured as a result of texting and driving this year worldwide,โ€ Steel said. โ€œMy goal right now is to connect with insurance companies, major telecoms and software management teams to incorporate S.A.L.T. into all devices on all platforms worldwide.

The .apk files and all of the source code is finished and in testing. Steel said once he can secure partnerships, the app is ready for release on all android phones, which accounts for 83 percent of the phones in the world. iOS devices will be next.

The S.A.L.T. app also has other benefits.

It has a 911 feature that alerts the police or fire department exactly where the user is even if the distressed person canโ€™t. It also auto-texts anyone that the user has pre-chosen from their contact list and tells them that a 911 emergency has been declared and then will GPS them to where the S.A.L.T. user is for assistance.

The app also has an ER button that will show the closest open emergency rooms and then flashes the best one with the least traffic for their drive and the fewest patients waiting in line. S.A.L.T. helps to facilitate the quickest care possible.

Steel said he believes with the benefits of the app and its focus on safe driving that users will have access to additional car insurance savings when allowing their insurance provider to monitor the app.

โ€œThis savings effectively pays people to not text and drive,โ€ Steel said. โ€œPotentially, this is a win-win situation for all involved.โ€

The app, with its 911 feature and ER button, also has the potential to save lives when someone is not driving, too, Steel said.

For instance, if a person falls or is injured and requires assistance, they can use the app to summon help by using the 911 feature and auto-texting relatives or friends for assistance.

Steel is a headline entertainer, vocalist and instrumentalist for about eight months a year, but he said he spends the rest of his time inventing and promoting his humanitarian concepts and inventions. To date, he has more than 100 concepts, patents and inventions that are ready for production and almost all of his intellectual properties are inexpensive and based on improving the planet.




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The Nation

CDL Meals forms partnership with American Association of Owner-Operators



CDL Meals offers a variety of organic chef-prepared meals that help drivers make healthy eating choices while on the road. (Courtesy: CDL MEALS)

ANAHEIM, Calif. โ€” CDL Meals, the division of Fresh nโ€™ Lean focusing on healthful meal options for professional truck and bus drivers, has formed a partnership with the American Association of Owner Operators (AAOO).

CDL Meals offers a variety of organic chef-prepared meals that help drivers make healthy eating choices while on the road.

โ€œWe could not be more excited to launch our first healthy-eating alliance with AAOO,โ€ said Bob Perry, director of CDL Meals. โ€œWe believe that people working in all industries deserve to live a healthy lifestyle and have access to the tools they need to ensure overall wellbeing, despite industry standards and limitations. CDL Meals has already made a positive impact on drivers and through this partnership, more operators can benefit from the quality meal plans.โ€

The American Association of Owner Operators is a nationwide organization dedicated to providing professional truckers and small fleet owners with the latest technology, benefits and assistance to advance in todayโ€™s trucking industry.

Perry said through the partnership, members of the AAOO will have access to CDLโ€™s seasonal menus, free nationwide delivery and the promise of fresh, affordable meals on the road.

โ€œWe are so thankful the team at Fresh nโ€™ Lean saw an opening to help improve the wellbeing of those in the trucking industry,โ€ said David Huff, CEO of AAOO. โ€œWe are committed to helping drivers stay safe while out on the road so they can get back home to their family and friends. โ€œGood nutrition is the most important part of staying healthy and staying healthy is a huge factor in staying safe. Thatโ€™s why we are so excited to partner with CDL Meals and provide great tasting meals at an affordable price to our members.โ€

Perry said CDL Meals is a service formulated especially for commercially licensed drivers to deliver chef-prepared food items anywhere within the U.S. using organic ingredients to create balanced, wholesome meals. Each menu option consists of a combination of protein, healthy carbohydrates, and vegetables. All meals are delivered fresh and can be refrigerated for up to seven days. The vacuum-sealed trays can be heated quickly and enjoyed at any time.

Along with the meals, each purchase comes with a 14-page driver wellness education booklet that includes dietary tips, an exercise plan, and suggestions to improve overall health through simple lifestyle changes.

For more information on CDL Meals, visit

For more information on AAOO, visit






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The Nation

NHTSA: Overall traffic fatalities in 2018 decline 2.4%, 2019 drop likely



NHTSA said the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled decreased by 3.4 percent (from 1.17 in 2017 to 1.13 in 2018), the lowest fatality rate since 2014. (Associated Press)

WASHINGTON โ€” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Tuesday released highway crash fatality data for 2018, showing a 2.4% decline in overall fatalities, the second consecutive year of reduced crash fatalities.

โ€œThis is encouraging news, but still far too many perished or were injured, and nearly all crashes are preventable, so much more work remains to be done to make Americaโ€™s roads safer for everyone,โ€ said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said.

The data, compiled by NHTSAโ€™s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), shows that highway fatalities decreased in 2018 with 913 fewer fatalities, down to 36,560 people from 37,473 people in 2017. The fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled also decreased by 3.4 percent (from 1.17 in 2017 to 1.13 in 2018), the lowest fatality rate since 2014.

The 2018 FARS release also clarifies previously released data on large trucks involved in fatal crashes. NHTSA reexamined supporting material and reclassified several light pickup trucks to an appropriate large truck category (10,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR). As a result, the 9% increase in large-truck-related fatalities reported for 2017 has been revised to 4.9%. For 2018, large-truck related fatalities increased by 0.9 percent. The details of the scope of the changes are documented in the 2018 fatal motor vehicle crashes overview research note.

No data was available on Class 8 tractor-trailer combinations.

Other findings from the 2018 FARS data include:

  • Fatalities among children (14 and younger) declined 10.3%
  • Alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities declined 3.6%
  • Speeding-related fatalities declined 5.7%
  • Motorcyclist fatalities declined 4.7 percent.

โ€œNew vehicles are safer than older ones and when crashes occur, more new vehicles are equipped with advanced technologies that prevent or reduce the severity of crashes,โ€ said NHTSA Acting Administrator James Owens said. โ€œNHTSA has spent recent years partnering with state and local governments and safety advocates to urge the public to never drive impaired or distracted, to avoid excessive speed, and to always buckle up.โ€

Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governor Highway Safety Association (GHSA) said the organization was pleased to see the 2018 decline and the estimated 3.4% dip thus far in 2019.

โ€œA decline in 2019 would mark three straight years of fewer fatalities despite a strong economy, which typically correlates with increased traffic deaths,โ€ he said. โ€œHowever, the only acceptable level of deaths is zero, and we will not rest until that is achieved.โ€

Adkins said GHSA was glad to note progress in reducing alcohol-related, speeding-related and motorcyclist fatalities in 2018.

โ€œThe tremendous investments made today in highway safety have been beneficial, but clearly not commensurate with the need,โ€ Adkins said. โ€œGHSA is committed to working with our partners in the federal government, advocacy community and at the state and local level to accelerate the momentum toward zero deaths on our nationโ€™s roadways.โ€

NHTSA said the projected 2019 decline translates to an estimated first-half 2019 fatality rate of 1.06, the lowest first-half level since 2015. The estimates for the second quarter of 2019 represent the seventh-consecutive year-over-year quarterly decline in fatalities, starting in the last quarter of 2017.

NHTSA is identifying opportunities to leverage its resources and collaborate with modal partners within USDOT to reduce fatalities among pedestrians and pedalcyclists (bicyclists and riders of two-wheel, nonmotorized vehicles, tricycles, and unicycles powered solely by pedals), among whom 2018 fatalities unfortunately increased by 3.4% (to 6,283) and 6.3% (to 857), respectively.

With the release of the 2018 and 2019 data, NHTSA also introduced its new Fatality and Injury Reporting System Tool (FIRST), a modernized crash query tool that lets users not only query fatal crash data but also generate estimates of crashes and people injured in crashes. The upgraded functionalities in the new tool include generating multi-year trends, estimates of alcohol involvement, and charting/tabulation/mapping of query results. The tool, along with instructions on its usage, can be accessed here.

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The Nation

Truckers Christmas Group set to launch annual holiday fundraising campaign



Since its inception, TGCO has raised more than $90,000 and helped 154 trucking families ease the financial burdens associated with the holiday season. (Courtesy: TRUCKERS CHRISTMAS GROUP)

PARK CITY, Kan. โ€” The Truckers Christmas Group (TGCO), an organization that raises funds to help professional truck drivers and their families in the United States and Canada, has begun its 12th annual holiday fundraising campaign.

TCGO will begin advertising for this yearโ€™s campaign on November 18. ย Nominations will open on the TGCO website beginning November 21 and will close on December 11.

Families will be notified by TGCOโ€™s very own Santa Claus on December 16-17.

Created in 2008, TGCO supports CDL drivers and their families during the holiday season by raising funds requested through aid applications and nominations.

In 2018, the organization saw record numbers of applications and delivered $8,000 to 16 families during the Christmas season.

Since its inception, TGCO has raised more than $90,000 and helped 154 trucking families ease the financial burdens associated with the holiday season.

Several trucking companies went bankrupt in the first half of 2019 alone, leaving more than 3,000 drivers without jobs. TGCO is anticipating another record year of applications and seeks donations to help provide aid for families in need โ€” not just from unemployment โ€” but from illness and other catastrophic events that can make the holiday season more stressful year-after-year.

โ€œWe havenโ€™t even opened the application process yet and already weโ€™ve received recommendations for multiple families that would significantly benefit from TGCOโ€™s efforts,โ€ said Mark Abraham, president of TGCO. โ€œThis year has been incredibly difficult for the drivers in our community and the donation of goods and funds will help us make sure each and every driver in our trucking family can support their families during the holiday season.โ€

Along with monetary donations made on the TGCO website, donors can also purchase items donated to the TGCO online Christmas store opening November 21. Items sold in The TGCO Christmas Store are generously provided by businesses and individuals, and new items will be listed regularly, so donors are encouraged to visit TGCOโ€™s website often, Abraham said.

Donors can also give their time by helping TGCO vet candidates, solicit nominations and raise awareness of the organizationโ€™s mission this season and in years to come. New volunteer recruitment begins November 1 on TGCOโ€™s Facebook page in coordination with media partners.

To make a donation or to nominate a driver and his or her family, visit All nominations are anonymous and open to professional CDL drivers living in the United States and Canada.

Businesses and individuals who want to contribute to The Christmas Store should contact Mark Abraham at for additional information.

Donors can also visit TGCO on Facebook and Twitter

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