Will 2017 Be a Safer Year for Truck Driving?
Throughout 2016, numerous safety advocates and groups voiced their opinions about the number of commercial vehicles involved in crashes. In an effort to reduce accident rates, legislators passed a number of safety regulations and discussed ideas for several more. With some of these mandates already in effect and becoming more widespread throughout the industry, it raises the question: will 2017 be a safer year for trucking?
There are a few factors which contribute to how easy it is for truckers to drive safely. Efficient equipment, quality training standards, and plenty of rest all help drivers maneuver better in tight situations which allows for accidents to be avoided.
Changes to the way hours-of-service are recorded should noticeably reduce accident rates if safety administrators were right in their predictions. While many are looking to see whether or not this mandate will be effective, many others dealing with training requirements and equipment regulations will also be gauged in their ability to prevent accidents.
Certain mandates like a proposed reduction of maximum speed limits for heavier vehicles may not last due to the new administration.
One of the main arguments against some recent regulations was that they were arbitrary. Drivers and trucking administrators alike voiced that while the ideas may have sounded good on paper to safety administrators and advocates, the ideas would do little good in practice. This makes 2017 a testing period of sorts to see which side is correct.
While most drivers and companies in the industry do favor safer conditions, some argue that recent mandates may actually make drivers less safe. The aforementioned speed limit reduction would limit the ability truck drivers have to maneuver away from accidents on the roads.
While it may take longer than one year to measure the full effect of new regulations, 2017 will provide a starting point.