While California residents are used to sharing the road with large commercial trucks, this does not mean it is always easy to travel next to one or several of the massive vehicles. Although truck drivers go through specialized training and trucking companies are controlled through federal trucking regulations, this does not mean all areas of concern and danger are addressed. In fact, as these regulations change, it can alter the impact the trucking industry has on the overall traffic safety on the roadways.
What do federal trucking regulations look like in 2017? Over the course of the year, federal trucking regulations are looked at and altered as needs demand it. And at an annual conference put on by the National Private Truck Council, these regulations are run down, updating the industry of current and impending changes.
Hours of service is a hot topic when it comes to the trucking industry, and after looking at the 34-restart rule, the FMCSA seeks to revert to its pre-July 2013 rules regarding when a truck driver can restart his or her hours of service. Based on a current study, after the 34-hour restart rule was put in place, there is no proof that there were any significant improvements regarding the health, fatigue, safety and longevity of truck drivers. However, this rule will remain as is since it has not caused any harm or detriments either.
Determining the safety fitness of a trucking company has also been a highly discussed topic. While rules were proposed in the Obama administration to establish a rating system, this was not deemed to determine who was assessed and who was actually safe. Thus, safety fitness is currently being assessed by an ongoing study that began last year. The National Academy of Science developed a safety methodology that scores trucking companies based on compliance, safety and accountability standards.
Other topics highlighted include entry-level driver training standards, the use of electronic logging devices and using speed limiters for class seven and class eight vehicles.
Addressing trucking safety concerns is a way to improve the overall safety on the roadways. While the goal of federal trucking regulations is to increase safety, this unfortunately does not always occur. Whether it is due to negligence or regulation violations, a truck driver or trucking company could be held liable in a truck accident. Those harmed in a truck accident have legal recourses available, and if they file a personal injury claim, it is possible to recover compensation for their losses.
Source: Trucker.com, "Trucking regs update: Coming and going in 2017," Aaron Marsh, May 3, 2107