Commercial trucks are massive machines that pose a danger to everyone on public roads and highways. Because their weight and inability to maneuver quickly makes trucks legitimate hazards, state and federal regulators are constantly looking for ways to ensure trucking companies, vehicles, and drivers are safe. This is why they enforce numerous regulations, including hours-of-service rules designed to reduce the risks posed by tired truck drivers.
Driver fatigue is a serious concern, and many scientific studies have found that driving tired can be just as dangerous, if not more so, than driving drunk. To ensure federal trucking regulations are keeping roadways safe, officials from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently announced that they will be conducting a landmark safety study with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) on driver fatigue among commercial drivers.
Federal regulators have stated the following about the study:
- The study is funded by a $4 million grant from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- Researchers will analyze more than 250 drivers over five months. Drivers will come from a variety of trucking industries, including short- and long-haul.
- The study will compare driver fatigue and safety performance between drivers who take two rest period during their restart breaks and rivers who take less than two rest periods
- Safety performance will be reviewed according to how drivers operated. Researchers will use GPS tracking devices and other means to focus on whether drivers were involved in any crashes, near-crashes, or safety-critical events.
- Drivers will be assessed for any short-term or medical effects caused by fatigue.
Regulators plan to use the results of this study to determine whether current hours-of-service rules may need to be changed. At the moment, certain hours-of-service rules are suspended pending the outcome of this five month study. They will also be presenting findings from the study to the Transportation Department and national lawmakers.
As a firm that represents many victims and families who have had their lives changed by auto accidents and truck accidents, we are hopeful that this new study will improve regulations that keep public roads safe. For those who are harmed by tired or negligent truck drivers, our firm is also available to provide caring and compassionate representation.
To learn more about your rights after an accident in Las Vegas or Nevada, contact Shook & Stone today for a FREE case review.