Trucking isn’t easy: driving long hours and hundreds of miles a day; a career in trucking will test your limits. With a lot at stake, and extended hours of physical and psychological strain involved, safety in the trucking industry is a pretty big deal. There are over 3.5 million truck drivers in North America, many of whom make regular trips across the country. Statistics from 2018 show that about 2,000 deaths and 10,000 injuries in Canada can be attributed to collisions involving a heavy truck
Trucking is amongst the only occupations where you share your workspace with the public. This creates several safety responsibilities for trucking businesses, all to ensure that their trucks alongside other vehicles are protected while moving heavy loads across roads.
Protecting Truck Drivers
We can’t go a single day without trucks. Without the men and women that work tirelessly to deliver shipments, the entire infrastructure of our civilization would collapse; ranging from supply chain disruptions to halts in vital economic projects. With the importance of the role they play, protecting truck drivers is a primary interest of several government and private organizations in the logistics industry. Over the past decade, several actions have been taken to improve safety and minimize work-related injuries associated with trucking:
- Mandatory speed limiters
A truck weighs dozens of tons. When moving at high speeds, this translates to a life-threatening amount of momentum in the event of a collision. This is why installing speed limiters in heavy trucks has been made mandatory by an amendment made to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. The new speed limit for trucks stood at just 105kmph, as backed by the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) and the Ontario Trucking Association (OTA).
- Limiting working hours
A well-rested driver is a safe driver. Getting at least 8 hours of rest is crucial to function properly on the roads the next day is crucial. This is why at least 10 hours of rest is made mandatory for truck drivers. This translates to a maximum of 14 hours of being on duty in a day. A truck driver cannot drive for more than 13 hours in a single day. There are further restrictions imposed on truck driver working hours, such as limiting the number of driving hours to 70 for every 24-hour break.
- Electronic Logging devices
Working with Federal and Provincial governments, CTA has introduced an electronic logging device to record driving time. Starting from the 12th of June 2021, all federally regulated truck drivers in Canada are required by law to be equipped with an electronic logging device. This will allow the working hour restrictions to be implemented more strictly. Even though electronic logging devices are made mandatory only for federally-regulated carriers, the Provincial Government is working to implement the requirement for provincial carriers from January 2023.
- Technologically driven safety measures
By incorporating innovative technology into commercial transportation, safety is greatly being improved across the trucking industry. This includes promoting trends such as predictive training through the use of AI, and pairing in-cabin sensors with AI to sense risky behaviors such as distractions and tiredness. Other technological safety initiatives include a proposed manufacturing standard that requires the installation of roll stability systems on heavy trucks.
- Other health and safety measures
In addition to the basic laws in place to ensure truck driver health, several measures have been taken by CTA to ensure truck drivers are safe and fit to work long hours. An example of this is a sleep apnea testing program that diagnoses the condition and provides support to truck drivers suffering from sleep apnea.
Truck drivers are some of the safest occupants of Canadian roads
Despite certain statistics showing that a lot of truck drivers are involved in collisions, they remain some of the safest vehicles on the road. Trucking makes up a small percentage of the total number of road collisions in Canada, thanks to the strict safety and security guidelines. Collisions that do involve trucks are overwhelmingly often deemed not the fault of the truck driver.
At Stream Logistics, we offer competitive rates for a range of high-quality logistics solutions. We cover everything from port-to-door to project cargo. Browse through our services to discover more, or give us a call to consult an expert – it’s streamlined.