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Trucking companies must institute safety standards

Safety on the highways is something that has to be a priority for everyone who is involved. It is imperative that trucking companies take the time and make the effort to ensure their drivers are operating their vehicles in a safe manner. This isn't always as easy as what you might think. Still, it is something that can directly impact the safety of other drivers on the roads.

The safety program of any motor carrier company has to start upon hiring the drivers. These drivers must be provided with clear and concise safety standards. There should be penalties for not following the program as stated. This should be conveyed in a manner that doesn't leave room for incorrect interpretation.

Many electronic monitoring options exist for keeping drivers accountable for their actions. Electronic driving logs should be accessible to the company so they can review them for compliance with the hours of service regulations. GPS modules can help trucking companies monitor the speed and route of drivers.

There are two more areas where proper training and monitoring can help improve the safety of a motor carrier's drivers. These are fatigued driving and distracted driving. While it is perfectly understandable that truckers want to keep in touch with people at home, this must occur in a safe manner. Using cellphones while driving can't happen because this puts the trucker and others at risk of accidents happening.

Getting enough sleep before getting behind the wheel is another important factor that can help keep everyone safe. Truckers should be trained on spotting fatigue. They must be empowered to stop and rest when they are showing these signs. Forcing them to push through the fatigue is an almost certain recipe for disaster.

Source: Department of Transportation, "A Motor Carrier’s Guide to Improving Highway Safety," accessed Jan. 26, 2018

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