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Discussing the effort to improve commercial trucking safety

Commercial truck drivers spend a significant amount of time on California roads. While these professionals may have much more experience operating a vehicle than other motorists, many accidents have still occurred due to truck operator error. As such, there has been an effort by government agencies to continue to push for better commercial motor vehicle safety.

Truckinginfo.com explains the current concerns of trucking safety agencies and advocates. Based on a systematic examination of road accidents, several issues have been brought to light as trucking industry problems. One matter that officials feel may need more oversight is driver health. At the present time, there are no regulations preventing a driver from using prescription narcotics while operating a commercial truck. This is despite the fact that certain prescribed drugs may affect the decision-making ability of a vehicle operator. By ensuring a driver is physically fit for commercial driving, a number of crashes may be prevented.

Furthermore, it is argued that distracted driving as well as other impairments may be improved through the use of warning systems. For example, advocates suggest that regulators should require the installation of technologies that alert an operator of issues such as improper lane variations or collision hazards. 

To expand upon the subject of distracted driving, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration provides a specific set of recommendations geared toward prevention. While driving, truckers should try to avoid contacting dispatch, consuming food and drink, shifting focus to external distractions such as billboards, and using maps or other items that require attention. Finally, it is not only a suggestion that a commercial driver never use a handheld device while operating a vehicle, it is actually a legal requirement. These FMCSA guidelines come after a 2009 study showed that trucker distraction contributed to over 70 percent of commercial truck accidents.

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