Federal Regulators Research Changes to Tired Truck Driver Regulations
Commercial trucks are massive machines that pose a danger to everyone on public roads and highways. Their weight and inability to maneuver quickly make these trucks legitimate hazards. State and federal regulators are constantly looking for ways to ensure trucking companies, commercial motor 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 public 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 drivers.
- The study will compare driver fatigue and safety performance between drivers who take two rest periods 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 short-haul drivers were involved in any fatal crashes, near-crashes, or safety-critical events.
- Driver performance 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 regulations 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.
Common Causes of Auto and Truck Accidents (And How to Avoid Them)
Auto and truck accidents are some of the most common causes of serious injuries and death on our roads today. It’s important to know what the main causes of these accidents are so you can take steps to avoid them. Here is a look at some of the most common causes of auto and truck accidents, as well as how to avoid each:
Distracted Driving: Many drivers today are distracted by smartphones, radios, food, and other factors while they are behind the wheel. Staying focused on the road is key to avoiding a fatal crash.
Driving Under the Influence: Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is one of the leading causes of auto and truck accidents. Always have a designated driver if you plan to drink and never get behind the wheel after consuming any type of mind-altering substance.
Speeding: Excessive speed is a major cause of auto and truck accidents, as it reduces the driver’s reaction time and increases the force of impact in a crash. Always drive at or below the posted speed limit to stay safe.
Poor Weather Conditions: Rain, snow, and ice increase the chances of a crash. Always drive slowly and carefully in hazardous weather conditions, and be prepared for sudden changes in visibility.
Truck Driver Fatigue: Fatigued drivers are dangerous and can lead to accidents. To avoid driver fatigue, take regular breaks after consecutive hours and never drive if you are too tired to stay alert behind the wheel.
Fatigue-related accidents can occur at any time of day, but studies show that they are more common during the early morning hours or late at night. Fatigue affects a driver’s reaction time, ability to focus, and decision-making skills, which can all lead to disastrous consequences.
Accidents caused by fatigue can occur in various industries, although they are more common in transportation and healthcare. In the transportation industry, truck drivers who are on the road for long periods of time are at a high risk of fatigue-related accidents.
The consequences of these accidents can be severe and include injury or death to the driver, passengers, other drivers, or pedestrians.
Common Injuries Sustained in Auto and Truck Accidents
Auto and truck accidents can lead to a variety of serious injuries.
Some of the most common injuries include:
Broken Bones: Broken bones are one of the most common injuries in auto and truck accidents, particularly when someone is involved in a high-speed collision or crash. Severe broken bones may require surgery or other medical intervention.
Whiplash: Whiplash is another common injury in auto and truck accidents, caused by the sudden jerking motion of the head. Symptoms may include neck pain, headaches, dizziness, and blurred vision.
Lacerations: Lacerations are deep cuts that often occur when debris such as glass or metal enters the body during a collision. These can be especially dangerous if they cause significant blood loss or penetrate an organ.
Spinal Cord Injuries: Spinal cord injuries often occur in auto and truck accidents, as they are caused by the sudden impact of a collision. These can lead to temporary or permanent paralysis and other serious medical complications.
How Shook & Stone Can Help?
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 federal 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.