There are numerous regulations concerning the safe operation of semi trucks. Everything from the maintenance of the trucks themselves to the medical condition of drivers is subject to federal guidelines designed to reduce trucking accidents. The industry itself is looking for ways to improve safety for truck drivers and everyone they share the road with. A recent report from the American Trucking Association discusses a list of 20 critical steps to reduce highway crashes and gauges the progress the industry has made in reaching its safety goals.
The report highlighted several areas where progress has been made in reducing truck crashes. Those areas include the safe use of technology, a prescreening system for truck driving candidates and the creation of a national registry of certified medical examiners. Other areas had not seen similar progress. The ATA still intends to do more in enacting seatbelt laws, targeting aggressive driving, enhancing the crashworthiness standards for trucks and creating a clearinghouse for drug and alcohol test results of drivers.
The ATA reported no progress toward the goal of making 65 miles per hour the national speed limit for commercial vehicles. Many trucking companies already govern the speed of their fleets for fuel consumption purposes, but a national standard could serve to reduce accidents among carriers who are not so restricted.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board pay close attention to the trucking industry. While the trucking industry has made large strides in terms of safety, when accidents do happen the damage tends to be severe. Truck drivers and the trucking industry as a whole needs to maintain a focus on safe practices.
Source: Safety.BLR.com, “Truck association cites progress on safety standards,” 14 February 2013