Biziq Blog Rob Samoiloff 1

The FMCSA Plans to Increase the Windshield Area to Mount Safety Devices

Biziq Blog Rob Samoiloff 1

Last month, the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed an amendment to Part 393 of the Parts and Accessories for Safe Operation. The amendment will the increase the windshield area in trucks where safety technology devices may be placed.

Part 393 currently states that safety devices may be mounted within four inches of the upper edge of the area swept by windshield wipers. The proposal will expand that area to 8.5 inches. The increased windshield area for safety devices will still remain outside of drivers’ sightline of roads, highway signs and signals.

What else is changing in the amendment?
In addition to an increased windshield area for safety devices, the amendment will expand the definitions for safety technologies.

The required safety technologies currently include management systems for incidents, performance, speed, lane departure warnings, forward collision mitigation, cruise control and a transponder.

If the amendment passes, the definition for safety devices will include braking warning and assistance systems, attention assist warning, GPS, traffic signal recognition and devices that contain cameras, lidar, radar, sensors and video.

How will this affect drivers and carriers?
The FMCSA anticipates that the amendment to increase the windshield area in trucks will be received positively by drivers and carriers. Besides making the trip safer, the amendment can help in these ways:

  • Fewer violations: Without this amendment, drivers are at a higher risk of getting a citation for having their safety equipment in the wrong windshield area. Increasing the permitted area for their devices reduces the risk of being cited.
  • Easier navigation: The GPS systems and cameras on the truck make navigating and driving a much easier task for drivers. Obviously, drivers still need to be highly skilled, but their job will be substantially easier with new equipment and an increased windshield area for their devices.
  • Lower costs: Transportation costs are often lowered when a driver can be more efficient on the road. Additionally, upkeep costs are reduced when a driver is able to avoid getting into accidents thanks to better safety equipment.

What are the long-term goals?
This was not a short-sighted amendment on the part of the FMCSA. The organization believes that the proposal will remove existing barriers to developing and deploying artificial intelligence
(AI). By increasing technology usage now, AI companies can work towards developing more devices that improve a truck driver’s overall wellbeing and on-the-job efficiency.

Are there any potential downsides?
Opponents of the amendment could argue that increasing the windshield area and expanding the types of windshield-mounted devices won’t actually improve safety. On the contrary, the proposal may make driving more dangerous. They say drivers might start to rely too heavily on their GPS devices, or focus on their devices instead of paying attention to the road.

Do you need a new transportation or logistics team?
If you’re searching for a new logistics or transportation partner, get in touch with our team at Energy Trucking. We’re industry leaders in ensuring cost-effective and efficient solutions for all sorts of businesses. Give us a call today to get a quote or learn more about the increased windshield area for safety devices.