Modern commercial trucks are a wonder of engineering technology. Massive engines and sophisticated transmission permit them to pull astounding payloads. Computers monitor the operational efficiency of the engine and sophisticated braking systems allow them to stop safely. That is, assuming everything has been properly maintained and is competently operated by the truck driver.
There is a large body federal trucking regulations that exist to help prevent truck accidents and maintain safe trucking fleets. There is an entire agency, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, whose sole job is supervising commercial trucking companies, their drivers and vehicles. And other agencies, like the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Highway Administration play a hand in keeping the highways safe.
Nevertheless, regulation has its costs. The Department of Transportation announced that it is changing the requirements for truck drivers to file a copy of a Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIR). Truck drivers must complete both a pre-and post-trip DVIR for every trip they make.
Under existing regulations, they had to file every copy with the DOT. The change will mean that they only have to file a copy of the report if the discover an issue that needs repair. The DOT estimates this could save the trucking industry $1.7 billion in expenses.
We hope that the inspections are still rigorously performed, as negligent truck maintenance and normal wear and tear can result in defects on trucks that can lead to deadly truck accidents. We suggest they use the savings to provide increased maintenance for their trucks.
Source: Claims Journal, “Proposal to Save Trucking Industry $1.7B a Year Won’t Disrupt Trucking Industry Safety Standards,” August 1, 2013