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When it comes to highway safety, everybody plays a role

States need to enact and then enforce regulations that make the roads safer. But vehicle manufacturers, safety suppliers, fleets, dispatchers and more all can help improve safety.

I recently reviewed the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety’s 2019 Roadmap of State Highway Safety Laws. The report focuses on the state enactment and enforcement of 16 different highway laws and ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia on how they perform in the adoption of those traffic safety regulations.

Some states were singled out for being at the top of the list when it comes to safety enforcement, but others did not do as well. The specifics are not necessarily important, but the report got me to thinking about highway safety in general.

It seems to me that when it comes to this topic there needs to be a concerted effort on the part of a wide variety of people and institutions.

  • States need to enact and then enforce regulations that make the roads safer. The 16 laws recommended by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety seem like a good place to start.
  • Vehicle manufacturers need to continue to work on improving the overall safety of their vehicles.
  • Suppliers of safety systems need to continue to refine their product offerings and make sure drivers are trained on the proper way to use those safety systems. This includes things like lane departure warning systems, collision avoidance systems, and electronic stability control.
  • Fleets need to make sure they talk to drivers about safe driving practices not just during onboarding but also on a regular basis during driver meetings.
  • Dispatchers need to make sure they are not pressuring drivers to violate safety regulations in order to get a load delivered.
  • Technicians need to make sure they carefully conduct PMIs and make repairs to all safety related items.
  • Drivers need to be diligent in completing their pre- and post-trip inspections and in pointing out any problems they find during those inspections. They also need to make sure they understand how all the driver assistance safety systems on their vehicles work. Most important is committing to driving as safely as possible. The good news is there are many great examples of drivers who have demonstrated their commitment to safety by driving millions of accident-free miles.

Everyone is in favor of safety so everyone has to do their part to ensure that everyone on the highways, in every state, is as safe as they can be.

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