The Future of DOT Regulations and What It Holds for Employers
Transportation is essential, in whatever form it takes. For most Americans, getting to and from work means commuting a certain distance and a chance encounter in traffic. For businesses it means the difference of profit and loss, as products are replenished and shipped daily across roads, water, and air, requiring employees, fuel, and regulations to ensure the latest trends and must-haves arrive safely to consumers’ doors. The DOT helps to maintain these regulations and is working alongside transportation industries to ensure regulations stay in line with innovations.
As we look ahead to the future, here are some things employers should consider about DOT regulations:
By 2045 America’s population will grow by 70 million and rural populations will continue to decline1. Population growth will be largest in the South and the West where current infrastructure might not be able to accommodate. Not only will the population continue to grow, but also the number of older Americans is expected to double by 2045 which will ultimately increase the need for quality transportation to medical and other services1.
So the question is how will the transportation industry be able to accommodate the increase in population growth? How will people move from place to place and how will the required resources be transported? The U.S. Department of Transportation expects freight volume to increase by 45 percent in 20451. With the global economy continuing to grow at a rapid rate international transportation could potentially be on the rise as well.
Future technology will continue to have a daily impact on our lives and especially within the transportation industry. “Driverless” trucks are a topic that is often discussed as a way to keep our roads safe and to help increase efficiency. New transit systems such as commercial train transportation are starting to regain popularity as well. The need for transportation of resources will always be there, the only unknown is how we will be moving these resources?
The most prevalent technological advancement is the abundance of information and data analytics. Driver data collection is now more readily available than ever before. The data can be used to monitor such conditions as sleep apnea. Data can measure the driver’s sleeping and driving habits and determine if they are at risk for sleep apnea. According to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Medicine drivers with untreated sleep apnea are five times as likely to get into preventable crashes as drivers without the condition2. The increased monitoring of sleep apnea has led the DOT to consider developing regulations around sleep apnea in order to keep the roads safer.
Employers are quickly starting to realize that a healthy workforce equals a productive workforce. The current commercial driver is quickly beginning to age and near retirement, with an average driver age of 493. Many transportation employers are starting to look towards younger drivers to fill the necessary job tasks. In order to eliminate the high driver turn over it is paramount to keep your drivers healthy.
Due to the drivers’ long and strenuous hours they often do not have access to healthy food or exercise. As an employer it is beneficial to your business if you provide those healthy opportunities to your drivers. The healthier your drivers are the longer they will be able to work and the safer the roads will be.
No one knows for sure what the future holds for the transportation industry but you can be sure that it is going to play a major role in the future. As the leading medical provider in the transportation industry, Concentra will continue to monitor future trends and provide the services transportation employers need to run a successful business. To speak to a program expert and learn more about the services that Concentra can provide for you click here.