Dispatch Training Safety: Trucking Issues Dominate U.S. Safety Board’s “Most Wanted” List

The importance of safety in transportation operations cannot be overstated, and it came under the spotlight again recently, as the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in the United States included many issues related to the trucking industry in its annual ‘most wanted’ list of safety priorities.

The government agency investigates and promotes awareness of transportation safety issues, and their recommendations have been known to spark conversation and lead to changes in US law. While many issues in this year’s list can apply to trucking, such as the distractions caused by using mobile devices while driving , a few were very specific to the industry, highlighting that there is still much work to be done to improve safety standards in the sector.

Here are just a few of the more pertinent problems highlighted by NTSB that dispatch training students should be aware of.

Fatigue-Related Accidents: The Facts For Dispatch Training Students

Truck drivers need to remain alert and awake during long journeys, and NTSB has called on companies to double their efforts in research, regulation, and training around driver fatigue. As an example, the organization cited an incident in June 2014, when comedian Tracy Morgan was severely injured and another passenger was killed after a collision with a Walmart truck. While the driver was operating within regulation hours, he had been awake for 28 hours before the accident.

Accidents like this are a stark reminder of why dispatch training graduates working in any area of transportation should be mindful of fatigue-related issues, and work to optimize schedules to ensure drivers are not overworked, as well as include proper breaks and rest periods along their routes.

Drivers need to be well rested over long hauls.

Why Dispatch Training Graduates Should Consider Collision Avoidance Tech

Driver fatigue is just one issue that collision avoidance technology could help address, with NTSB keen to promote its usage across the industry. Some of the systems on the market can also be used to detect impending collisions, alert drivers of upcoming hazards, and even provide autonomous emergency braking. In addition to asking transport companies to adopt the technology, NTSB is also lobbying automakers to include the systems on new vehicles as a standard feature.

How Recorders Can Help Dispatch Course Grads Keep Fleets Safe

Another technological innovation highlighted was the use of recording devices to enhance safety. Many trucking companies already voluntarily include crash-resistant devices that record data, audio, and images. These devices can provide vital information of how an accident occurred, to help prevent future incidents. While currently more common on larger trucks, students enrolled in dispatcher schools shouldn’t be surprised if the systems become standard across the industry by the time they graduate.

dispatch training
Recorders can be used to determine the cause of accidents.

Medical Fitness For Duty: The Importance Of Health In The Dispatch Industry

Ensuring that transport professionals are medically ‘fit for duty’ is an issue NTSB have also highlighted in previous years. Untreated medical conditions among operators can lead to serious accidents, and this year, the list cited increased accidents involving drivers with undiagnosed sleep apnea, calling for more awareness and stricter testing.

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