A recent study conducted by the National Safety Council and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute revealed that if trucking companies want to be successful, they must keep safety top of mind ─ from the corporate level to the drivers on the road.
Researchers studied nine major trucking companies that were trying to improve their safety records. One of these companies had previously been deemed as “high risk,” meaning it had a poor safety record.
During the year researchers followed the carriers, each company saw a decline in the number of accidents their drivers were involved in, and they improved their overall scores in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) safety program.
After studying the safety habits of the nine trucking companies, researchers also took note of some of the safety practices those carriers were using to improve their score. The researchers noted that overall: “A strong safety culture, advanced technologies, training and management practices all are key.”
Keys to Success for Improving Truck Driving Safety
The majority of trucking companies involved in the study, six out of nine, stated that creating a strong safety culture was crucial in increasing safety overall. These six companies used many similar strategies when trying to increase safety, including:
- Allowing drivers to discuss safety-related issues with management in an open and respectful manner
- Reviewing the company’s safety procedures and policies with all management staff and truck drivers
- Improving upon current hiring and training practices and policies
- Enacting and enforcing a zero-tolerance policy for drivers who violate the federal hours-of-service regulations, or the amount of time drivers can spend behind the wheel
- Ensuring all drivers are made aware of the company’s safety culture during their orientation when they are initially hired
- Requiring all drivers to regularly attend safety training and education programs
While these are the practices that the companies in the study enacted, the authors of the study had suggestions, as well. First and foremost, the study stresses that proper training is key. Although it’s often difficult for trucking companies to retain drivers, they should not hire a driver simply because they have a position to fill.
The study also recommended trucks be equipped with forwarding- and rear-facing cameras. This would allow trucking companies to see what their drivers are doing. Although drivers don’t mind forward-facing cameras because it can serve as proof that they weren’t to blame for an accident, they argue that rear-facing cameras interfere with their privacy.
How Our Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help If You’ve Been Hurt
At The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian, our Houston truck accident attorneys know the severity of injuries that result from crashes involving trucks. We are dedicated to helping accident victims prove liability and collect evidence to substantiate their claims. We hold trucking and insurance companies accountable for their negligence, and we demand maximum compensation for accident victims.
If you have been hurt, contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys to learn more about how we can help.