The National Transportation Safety Board has recommended straight truck drivers be required to have a commercial driver license. Please see this article in the website of Heavy Duty Trucking website: http://bit.ly/12wl2eo.
The alarming number is straight truck drivers were in 1,800 fatal accidents in a four year period from 2005 to 2009. Not only our straight truckers not required to have commercial driver license, but many times because they are of a local nature they are exempt from interstate safety regulations mandated by the US government. Regulations made come and some states have regulations, but it is important that regardless straight truck fleet operations be run safely.
For the conscious operator of straight truck vehicles many of which are small operations, they should not wait for federal or state regulations to change, they should take a proactive safety approach. The federal regulations do provide a guidepost and while not perfect (nor can they be) they have proven to be effective in making the process safer.
The steps recommended are:
1) Remember that drivers are human beings. They can only work so many hours a day before getting dangerously tired. They need adequate rest breaks. Studies have shown that drivers should not be run over 11 hours and should have at least 10 hour breaks at least between shifts. A well rested driver will serve your customers well also.
2.) Make sure vehicles are maintained for safety. Daily inspections of the vehicle should be made. Breaks and mechanical parts should be regularly checked and maintained.
3) Periodic meeting with drivers and people respond for keeping the operation should be held to discuss safety and safety issues. Make it important and it will be.
Safety materials and procedures can be brought from firms like J J Keller. In the long run, a safe operation is a low cost one.