Safety regulators from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
(FMCSA) have announced that they will be launching a $4 million study
on driver fatigue and commercial trucking safety. The FMCSA - a government
agency tasked with regulating commercial freight and passenger carrying
companies - will be working with researchers from the Virginia Tech Transportation
Institute (VTTI) to study the effects of restart breaks on fatigue levels
and driver safety performance.
The study was prompted when a federal spending bill enacted at the end
of 2014 suspended certain hours-of-service rules (regulations over how
long commercial truck drivers can be on duty and drive) until research
studies were completed.
The Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Restart Study will focus on the following:
- A five-month on-road review of 250 truck drivers from a variety of operations
- Comparing truck driver fatigue and safety performance for drivers who take
two night-time rest periods and drivers who take less than two rest periods
during the 34-hour restart break.
- Analyzing safety performance through assessments of crashes, near-crashes,
crash-relevant situations, driver fatigue and alertness, and short-term
- Determining the need for new hours-of-service rules.
Driver fatigue is a common and highly concerning problem for motorists
of all types across the country. Because commercial trucks are massive
and difficult-to-maneuver machines, a tired driver behind the wheel of
a big rig could spell disaster for innocent people of public roads and highways.
According to officials, the landmark study will play a crucial role in
securing public safety. After the five month study is complete, it will
be reviewed by medical and scientific panels and will be presented to
Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Commercial Trucking Accidents & Your Rights
The study is a significant step toward reducing preventable commercial
truck accidents, especially those caused by tired, fatigued, or overworked
drivers. At Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs, we are
available to help victims and families learn more about their rights after
any type of truck accident.
Have questions about your case? Contact our firm today for a FREE case review.