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.
The Department of Transportation, in conjunction with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, has decided to ban the use of hand-held cell-phones for commercial vehicle drivers. The ban is the latest effort to reduce serious truck accidents caused by distracted driving. In 2010, the DOT passed a rule banning text messaging by bus and truck drivers. This measure is more controversial, as the benefits of hands-free devices are not clear.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) convened a public forum from May 10-11 in Washington, DC to review progress made over the last decade in improving truck and bus safety and to discuss steps that must be taken to improve safety in the future.
When an automobile collides with the rear of a semi-truck trailer it can cause devastating injuries and fatalities. The increased risk is a result of the height of the trailer compared to the car. The hood of most passenger cars are low enough to slide below the deck of the trailer so that the force of the impact goes directly into the windshield and upper part of the passenger compartment of the car. These types of crashes are known as 'underride' accidents.
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.
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.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced today the launch of its Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP), a uniform investigatory system that will allow commercial motor carriers access to the crash and inspection records of all candidates seeking employment as commercial vehicle drivers.
Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced it was implementing a new rule that, according to DOT Secretary Ray LaHood, is aimed at "cracking down on carriers and drivers who put people on our roads and highways at risk" by violating federal hours-of-service (HOS) regulations.
In line with the upcoming, nation-wide implementation of Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 (CSA 2010) the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) launched Friday the initial phase of its Driver Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP). The PSP, one of the many changes the FMCSA is making to the current regulations governing large motor carriers, will enable carrier companies, including semi-trailer truck carriers, to have electronic access to the driving records for potential new drivers, specifically crash records and driver safety inspections.