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Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Archives

Regulated Sleep and Truck Driver Fatigue Accidents

Fatigue is a serious issue for many drivers. Lack of sleep can cause a driver to make a number of driving errors, including drifting into the other lane and failing to take evasive action when traffic demands. For truck drivers, economic pressure can push them toward driving in a fatigued state. Hours-of-service regulations exist to encourage drivers to get adequate sleep and avoid truck accidents caused by sleepy drivers. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has been commissioned to conduct a federal study into the impact of regulated sleep schedules.

Serious Violations Preceded Deadly Truck Accident

A Chicago-area trucker is facing four felony charges for behavior leading up to a deadly wreck on I-88. The semi-truck accident occurred two weeks ago and claimed the life of a toll-way worker. It also left an Illinois State Trooper with critical injuries. As a result of his actions, the truck driver has been labeled an "imminent hazard to public safety" by the U.S. Department of Transportation. He has been ordered to stop operating commercial vehicles in interstate commerce by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Commercial Vehicles and Railroad Crossings

Highway-rail grade crossings are intersections where roads cross railroad tracks on the same level or grade. These intersections are the site of more than 3,000 accidents every year, including roughly 700 semi truck accidents. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has created a new initiative designed to help truck drivers and other commercial vehicle operators avoid these terrible accidents. If every commercial driver followed the precautions laid out by the FMCSA, there would be far fewer accidents and fewer fatalities at highway-rail grade crossings.

Hours of Service Rules Challenged by Trucking Associations

When the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed new restrictions on the hours of service a truck driver could operate, there was no doubt there would be controversy. Trucking industry insiders believe that the new rules are needlessly restrictive and will not make a significant difference in the number of truck accidents. The American Trucking Association (ATA) is petitioning the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to review the validity of the newly proposed rules.

Sleep Apnea and Truck Accidents Draw Federal Scrutiny

The Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee and the Medical Review Board have teamed up to recommend mandatory testing for sleep apnea among obese truck drivers. Sleep apnea has been linked to numerous truck accidents where the driver either fell asleep or was exhausted at the time of the crash. The two committees are preparing a formal recommendation to present to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration later this year. Sleep apnea is a known-issue in the trucking industry, with several leading companies already testing their drivers to ensure that proper steps are taken.

Trucking Industry Objects to Proposed Cell Phone Restrictions on Truck Drivers

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nearly 60,000 people were injured and 3,380 people were killed in truck crashes in 2009. Many of these deaths and injuries were caused by distracted truck drivers using cell phones.

The NTSB Updates Its 'Most Wanted' List Of Transportation Safety Improvements; Underscores The Critical Changes Needed To Reduce Transportation Accidents And Save Lives

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency created in 1967 to investigate transportation accidents and promote transportation safety. The NTSB recently issued its updated Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements. The list highlights important safety actions that federal transportation agencies and all 50 States need to take to prevent accidents and save lives.

Study: A Sleep-Deprived Person Behind The Wheel Or In The Cockpit Is Just As Dangerous As A Drunken Driver

A comprehensive investigation into the effect that fatigue has on the ability to safely operate vehicles within the nations four major modes of transportation has revealed some daunting information about just how powerful fatigue is - and how lightly the responsible federal agencies seem to regard it.

A Little Known Cause Of Many Automobile Crashes: Sleep Apnea

According to the American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA), undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea can significantly increase a driver's potential to be involved in serious automobile crashes. The National Institute on Health's Heart, Lung and Blood Institute describes sleep apnea as a condition that causes a person to experience periodic pauses between breaths or very shallow breathing during sleep. The breathing pauses can last from seconds to minutes, and can occur anywhere from 5 to 30 times an hour. For chronic sufferers, the episodes appear 3 or more nights a week, moving the person constantly from deep to light sleep.

Daughter Of Trucking Crash Victim Hands Out First-Ever Top Trucking Safety Award - To VP Of Trucking Company That Killed Her Father

At this year's Sleep Apnea and Trucking Conference, held on May 11-12 in Baltimore, Don Osterberg, vice president of safety and driver training for Green Bay, Wisconsin-based trucking company Schneider National, was presented with the first-ever Distinguished Safety Leadership award, which was created by the Truck Safety Coalition. Osterberg's receipt of the award was an unexpected moment for two reasons, namely because of his company's history of involvement in fatal trucking crashes, and also because of who presented Osterberg with the award itself: the daughter that William Badger was on his way to meet when he was killed in a crash involving one of Osterberg's semi-trucks.

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