2017 may turn out to be a major year for the safety and security of all federal highway users. Since practically all Americans, almost without exception, use or have a loved one who uses the federal highway system, the most recent trucking regulations will only serve to improve the safety and security of all Americans.
What is most surprising about some of the regulations is the light they shed on the larger trucking industry and the fact that some of them are needed in the first place. Some of the regulations are more administrative, while some of them speak directly to the safety and security of all drivers in the nation.
The most obvious are the speed limiter mandate, which mandates that trucks over 26,000 pounds not be allowed to drive faster than 65 miles per hour. The next is the creation of a national clearinghouse to maintain records of alldrug and alcohol tests that a driver took for their commercial driver’s license (CDL) credentials. Apparently, there has been an issue with drivers who failed to pass pre-employment and employment-based drug and alcohol testing and concealed them from their employer, creating an obvious risk to the public.
Greater Training Required for New CDL Drivers
The one new regulation that has received significant press is the new requirement that new truck drivers receive more or heightened training. Not surprisingly, the nation’s large trucking company are grumbling about the implementation of these regulations. One argument is that these regulations limit the hours of operation and thus increase the time away from home. The same article lamented the shortage of truck drivers and concentrated on this issue rather than the safety of the driving public, arguing that the solution to the problem is to reduce regulations and laws that the trucking industry must adhere to.
While safety may be a concern to the actual truck drivers, it is not always a concern of the larger trucking industry itself. Clearly, these regulations will help to improve the safety of the driving public. There are multiple benefits for both the driving public and truck drivers, including:
- The increased training will help to improve safety and driver efficiency;
- These will in turn help save lives and reduce injuries;
- Greater efficiency also results in reduced fuel costs, travel time, and vehicle maintenance; and
- Greater efficiency results in overall industry-wide cost reduction.
Increased Tractor Trailer Lengths Also Move Forward
There are moves in Congress that effectively force states to allow tractor-trailers to haul longer tandem (double) trailers on the nation’s highways. While such measure is not yet law, it is an important safety issue that should be watched throughout 2017. Currently, some 38 states do not permit such long length tandem trailers. With such heavy and potentially improperly balanced – and therefore unstable and unsafe – trailers on the nation’s roadways, there is an undeniable increase in the risk and severity of injuries and deaths.
Contact a Florida Commercial Truck Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one were injured in any automobile accident with a commercial vehicle or tractor trailer, you need an experienced, aggressive attorney on your side. The Florida truck accident attorneys at Dolman Law Group have the experience and commitment to get you the maximum recovery. You can contact us at (727) 451-6900 today for a free initial consultation.