What is being done to protect drivers and their materials.
Given that commercial trucking is a multifaceted issue, establishing efficient safety precautions require collaboration between the oversight agencies, the drivers, the companies operating them, and the vehicles themselves. Thankfully, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has always put forward numerous efforts to keep the industry safe for all parties involved. Although commercial trucking accidents have always existed and improving safety measures has always remained at the forefront of the industry, it was comic/actor Tracy Morgan’s accident with a commercial truck that made trucking safety a national concern.
The NTSB & Safety Concerns
The NTSB is well known for its history contacting regulators such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to improve safety oversight in all divisions of the commercial trucking industry. Such primary concerns have been:
- Improving the system that determines the safety compliance of the trucking company, which includes both vehicle and driver factors.
- A stronger oversight to ensure that safety deficiencies are handled timely and remain out of service until the carriers are improved or replaced.
- A comprehensive system for regulators that makes sure bad operators cannot re-enter the industry under a different name.
Regulators & Rules
Regulators have already begun taking steps that focus on science-based service hours and mandated logging devices. These regulations help assure that the commercial drivers are properly rested. Other rules that have been created include the screening of drivers for potentially impairing drugs, medical conditions, and obstructive sleep apnea.
When addressing vehicle factors, the regulators in charge must stress the importance of life-saving technology and fleet maintenance. Such important vehicle regulations include:
- Frequent compliance reviews.
- Required safety technology and equipment that cover lane departure warning systems, rollover stability control systems, tire pressure monitoring systems, and collision warning technology.
- Developing standards for side and front under-ride protection systems. These improve highway vehicle crashes with passenger automobiles.
Commercial trucking is an interesting segment of the economy, as trucking companies can range from single-truck owners to operators running business with a fleet of trucks. Organizations such as NHTSA and FMCSA have established regulations that only cover the minimum requirements, which isn’t considered the gold standard. In addition to this, recent NTSB crash investigations have discovered that accidents are still prone when operators are performing everything “by the book.” To stay in the clear, commercial trucking companies have remained on top of current (and evolving) safety regulations, as these regulations keep all parties involved safe and sound…and will for years to come.