The United States Department of Transportation is considering a rule to limit the top speed of medium and large commercial trucks. The proposal would require installation of electronic speed governors on trucks manufactured after 1990 and weighing more than 13 tons. The top speed allowed would be 68 miles per hour. This equipment is already in place for trucks model year 1991, and newer. D.O.T. will accept comments from the public about the proposal until March 27. Some of the big trucking companies are on board, as are safety groups, so hopefully, this proposal will end up as a regulation soon.
To avoid truck accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) public education campaign, called “Share the Road,” has issued some safety tips for tractor-trailer drivers, bus drivers, and commercial vehicle drivers. See below:
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!
The most important part of a truck or bus is the driver! You should get plenty of rest before getting behind the wheel. Eat well and also stay fit. Remember, hours of service violations are severe and can threaten your livelihood. They can even endanger your life. You should remain healthy and well rested, or don’t drive!
ALWAYS MAINTAIN YOUR VEHICLE
You should inspect your vehicle before each trip and check your brakes regularly. Also, learn how to examine your brakes, identify safety defects, and get them repaired before risking your life and others on the highway.
BE AWARE OF YOUR “NO-ZONE”
Other drivers often are not aware of the size of your truck’s blind spots. You should be vigilant in watching out for vehicles in the No-Zone. The so-called “No-Zone” is the danger areas, or blind spots, around trucks and buses where crashes are more likely to occur. Approximately one-third of all crashes between large trucks and cars take place in the No-Zone.
SLOW DOWN IN WORK ZONES
You should watch out for highway construction, and stay alert. Remember, work zone crashes are more likely to happen during the day. About a third of fatal crashes in work zones involved large trucks. You should take your time going through work zones and give yourself plenty of room. Also, expect the unexpected!
ALWAYS KEEP YOUR DISTANCE
You must still leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you. Remember, if you hit someone from behind, you are typically considered “at fault,” regardless of the situation. Also, large trucks require more stopping distances than other vehicles. Remember to take advantage of your driving height, and anticipate braking conditions.
FASTEN YOUR SEAT BELT
Remember to buckle up for safety and control. If you are in a wreck, a seat belt can save your life and those around you. The seat belt will keep you in your seat and allow you to maintain control of your truck or bus. One major cause of truck and bus driver fatalities involves being ejected from the vehicle. Wearing seat belts is still the single most effective way drivers can save lives and reduce injures on our roadways.
ALWAYS DRIVE DEFENSIVELY
Always avoid aggressive drivers! An estimated two-thirds of all traffic fatalities are caused every year by aggressive driving behaviors. Remember to keep your distance and maintain a safe speed. Speed will do nothing but increase your chance for a crash.
WORK TO HELP YOURSELVES
Always be the professional on the highway and at safety events! Remember to help stranded motorists; notify traffic safety agencies of crashes, unsafe drivers, unsafe roadway conditions, and other situations that can lead to accidents. Consider joining a “Highway Watch” program, if available in your state. A driver’s participation in public safety events and performance on the highway can change public perception!
TELL US WHAT IS WRONG
If you know of hazardous situations, please tell us about it. Remember to report hazardous companies, unsafe drivers, dangerous roadways, and unsafe vehicles. The following telephone “hotlines” are maintained for your protection. Please feel free to call us to help make the roads safer and your job easier.
FMCSA Driver Hotline: 1-888-DOT-SAFT (368-7238)
NHTSA Vehicle Hotline: 1-888-327-4236
Anytime you have questions about a significant car or Austin truck accident, you can call me I would be glad to see if I can help you.
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