Fleet management software makes it easier to comply with federal rules

Fleet maintenance software can be a huge help to commercial carriers and other transportation businesses as federal government agencies impose stricter safety standards for heavy-duty trucks and buses.

Preventing highway collisions is one of the top priorities of organizations responsible for reducing dangers on state and federal road infrastructure. According to data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were nearly 30,000 fatal crashes involving one or more motor vehicles in the U.S. in 2011. While these numbers have steadily declined from 39,252 in 2005, making sure vehicles are in solid shape is an important part of increasing overall driver safety for commercial fleet employees transporting goods long distances.

DOT gets serious about safety compliance
A recent report from Bloomberg said the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has updated existing regulations regarding compliance audits for heavy-duty automobiles such as trucks and buses. Specifically, the new rule increases the severity of penalties for violating portions of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, which Congress passed in 2012 as a way tosecure more funding for ongoing infrastructure initiatives. The news source reported that a recent string of consecutive fatal bus crashes on the East Coast was the major impetus behind tightening the regulatory framework created by the legislation.

"We are intent on shutting down bus and truck companies that willfully endanger the public," Anne Ferro, administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), told Bloomberg.

While much of the renewed federal audit efforts will focus on targeting previous offenders, small and midsize trucking operations with a solid history of safety can still benefit from investing in automated fleet management software to prevent minor details from falling through the cracks.

Routine maintenance leads to increased safety
A press release from the Houston truck accident lawyers of 1800 CAR WRECK, a legal resource for automobile owners who get in accidents, said vehicle collisions are often caused by a large number of mishaps. For example, distracted driving and other dangerous behaviors greatly enhance the risk of running into one or more other cars or trucks on the road. Faulty equipment is another major factor. However, managers of smaller organizations may not always have the time and resources necessary to go through each and every vehicle in their fleet to make sure brake mechanics and other parts are working properly. In these cases, introducing automated equipment maintenance software comes as a major advantage. With these tools, business owners can create more organized schedules for ongoing repair activity. This will also make it easier to determine which trucks are the safest to deploy on deliveries.

The time it takes to keep heavy-duty trucks in good condition can quickly become a drain on overall productivity. As the federal government imposes stricter safety compliance standards, these issues will only become more important. As a result, fleet owners must find a way to provide the proper attention to their trucks without draining operating budgets or missing out on future revenue opportunities.