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Experienced Injury Lawyers

Study Finds High Incidence of Sleep Apnea for Truck Drivers

Published on Aug 26, 2013 at 1:23 pm in Trucking Accident.

Kentucky Truck AccidentTruck drivers as a population have been found to be at a high risk for sleep apnea. A study sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the American Trucking Association (ATA) found that 28% of commercial truck drivers have mild to severe sleep apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common disorder that causes breaks in your breath or shallow breathing while you sleep. These pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. Then normal breathing resumes, sometimes with a telltale snort or choking sound. This can happen up to 30 times or more in an hour.

FMCSA Enacts Break Time Exemption for Short-Range Truck Drivers

Published on Aug 13, 2013 at 11:20 am in Trucking Accident.

Truck drivers who travel no more than 100 miles will be able to skip the 30-minute rest break required of other truckers under a new exemption recently announced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

The change went into effect on August 2. It was a response to a ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which struck down the 30-minute break provision for drivers who traveled less than 150 miles from their home terminals. All other commercial truck drivers must obey the 30-minute break requirement, and all drivers must obey other Hours-of-Service (HOS) requirements.

Proposed Federal Program Will Screen Truck Drivers for Safety

Published on Jul 4, 2013 at 9:08 am in Trucking Accident.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enforces many federal rules governing commercial truck and bus safety, and experienced Kentucky truck accident attorneys tend to listen closely when the agency proposes a new safety program as it did recently with its Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) program.

The Safety Fitness Determination program is intended to help fulfill the agency’s responsibility to examine truck and bus driver safety and to handle violations of safety rules under its Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program, according to the FMCSA. The agency plans to implement the program in a nine-year process that starts from scratch while continuing to implement current driver safety rules during this time.

Monitoring Tools for Truck Driving Fatigue

Published on Jul 3, 2013 at 9:00 am in Trucking Accident.

Federal laws require commercial carriers to monitor the number of hours their truckers drive to ensure they are getting the required amount of rest. Companies take a variety of routes to log hours driven; but new technologies are emerging that can look for symptoms of fatigue in real-time.

Technologies can be used inside the truck to help monitor and alert drivers if they are showing signs of sleepiness. Tired drivers are often not aware of their condition – at times they can drive for up to 30 seconds with their eyes closed (called micro-sleeps), which can lead to fatal big rig crashes on the road.

Are Trucking Companies Liable for Accidents Caused by a Driver’s Fatigue?

Published on Jul 1, 2013 at 6:00 pm in Trucking Accident.

Twenty years ago, trucking companies may have been able to say they were unaware of their drivers’ fatigue problems; but today, they can no longer claim to be unaware of fatigue risks. Too much light has been shone on the problem for owners to shrink away from it.

Today, a trucking company can be expected to show reasonable efforts toward managing known risks from fatigue. If an accident occurs that was triggered in part by fatigue, the injured person’s attorneys will be looking closely at what prevention and monitoring actions were taken by the company.