Safety is an ongoing focus within the trucking industry. While there are always outside circumstances that can prevent a 100% safety record for the industry, there are ways in which drivers and fleet owners can further improve safety without getting in the way of productivity. Earlier this month, the Alliance for Driver Safety and Security outlined a statement which reaffirmed safety goals for this year.
1. Expanded Use of ELDs
Over the past year, electronic logging devices have proven to increase the efficiency of supply chains along with safety metrics. The big hurdle is how to expand ELD usage throughout the trucking industry and knowing where to make mandates more flexible. Too many restrictions on hours of service, and productivity drops. Oversight agencies are still fine-tuning things to find that “Goldilocks spot” that allows for flexibility while still making driving safer.
2. More Thorough Drug Testing
The standard drug testing program required by the Department of Transportation fails to detect up to 90% of drug users. On the other end of the scale, drug tests sometimes flag people who either do not use drugs, or are on prescription medication for health conditions. The trucking industry needs more thorough and accurate drug testing in the very near future.
3. More Reasonable Speed Limits
Going too fast on roads and highways can be very hazardous, but going too slow also causes major accidents and traffic situations. The trucking industry needs to work with lawmakers to figure out safe speed limits for trucks. Trucks are not a “one size fits all” category for speed limits. We now have different weight classes and sizes making hauls from state to state, and the differences need to be taken into account when determining safe speed limits.
4. More Warning Systems
Better and mandatory forward collision warning systems can also make things safer for truckers and people in other vehicles. Truckers can certainly account for themselves and their own actions on the road, but they cannot be expected to be responsible for the erratic actions of other drivers. Collision warning systems could make travel safer for everyone involved.
How the discussions in improved safety unfold remain to be seen, but if there are any official rulings, Express Freight Finance will report them here.