The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration strictly enforces rules that limit how long semi-tractor trailer drives can spend behind the wheel, but trade groups such as the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association believe that hours of service regulations could actually be making the roads in Oklahoma and around the country more dangerous. The OOIDA has petitioned the FMCSA to revise these rules by allowing drivers to split their 14-hour shifts into segments.
President Trump signed a proclamation on November 30, 2017, that has officially deemed December 2017 National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. The purpose is clear, as the people of Oklahoma probably know how driving under the influence can impact the lives of drivers, passengers and bystanders.
An important part of truck accident prevention is knowing what trucks are physically capable of. Trucks are the largest vehicles on the road and put cars in more danger than themselves. Truck accidents frequently involve overrides or underrides. The first occurs when a truck collides into the back of a car and rides over it, and the second when a car collides into the back of a truck and is forced under it. Rear underride guards are mandated for all trucks weighing 10,000 pounds or more, but they are of somewhat limited utility.
Oklahoma truck drivers may be interested to learn that a rule that sets national standards for CDL applicant training became law on June 5. However, the rule provides a lengthy window before trainers, carriers and other stakeholders must comply.
Road users in Oklahoma and around the country could be more likely to see semi-tractor trailers being pulled over for safety inspections in early June. This is when the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's International Roadcheck safety initiative will take place in 2017. The 72-hour-long campaign is scheduled to get underway on June 6, and the CVSA revealed on March 13 that inspectors will be focusing much of their efforts on cargo safety and securement.
An autonomous trucking startup company has created a system that would eliminate the necessity of having drivers in commercial trucks during final-mile delivery. This means that commercial truck drivers in Oklahoma and the rest of the nation would be able to control the truck remotely.
Oklahoma residents may be aware that one of President Trump's first actions after taking the oath of office on Jan. 20 was to order federal agencies to delay the implementation of all new regulations for 60 days. Trump has promised to slash red tape and eliminate unneeded government rules, and the White House says that the president needs the time to review pending regulations before approving or rejecting them.
Oklahoma motorists might be interested in learning how the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is attempting to combat the problem of distracted driving. The federal agency has proposed guidelines related to cellphone usage in an attempt to decrease the rate of drivers who use those devices while behind the wheel.
Many Oklahoma motorists would be very nervous to see a large commercial truck traveling down the highway with no one in the driver's seat. However, the American Transportation Research Institute believes that self-driving trucks could actually make the roads safer. Even with autonomous technology, the self-driving trucks will still require human operators, however.
Driving in Oklahoma can be an exercise in trust. Motorists and passengers expect that other vehicle operators are committed to safe driving and making sure their vehicles are roadworthy. When a driver is careless about vehicle maintenance, others who are on the road are in danger.