Many Pennsylvania drivers have reason to be concerned about the threat to highway safety posed by truck driver fatigue. Collisions that involve large trucks can be especially devastating to lives and property due to the size and mass of the vehicles involved. Since drowsy truck drivers can cause severe accidents, regulating and testing for risks of fatigue, including sleep apnea, is a major concern.
Truckers in Pennsylvania may get an opportunity to be a part of a new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration survey. The agency is going to ask 500 drivers for information about their driving habits, including commute lengths. One of the priorities of the FMCSA is to find out if drivers are commuting more than 2.5 hours to their jobs.
Truck accidents claim the lives of many road users around the country each year, and some of the most catastrophic of these crashes occur when passenger vehicles slide under the sides of tractor-trailers. Underride guards are a straightforward and effective way of preventing this kind of tragedy, but current regulations only require them to be fitted to the rear of commercial vehicles. However, the regulatory landscape may be changing soon as a bipartisan bill that would require truck operators in Pennsylvania and throughout the U.S. to fit these safety devices to the front and sides of their vehicles is making its way through Congress.
Trucking companies in Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the U.S. are coming to terms with a new mandate from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA now requires electronic logging devices to be installed in every commercial truck for tracking and safety reasons. Larger truck carriers like FedEx and UPS are already using ELDs in their fleet.
Pennsylvania residents might like to know about the challenges involved in properly vetting commercial truck drivers for drug use. A federal law called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act protects patient privacy, which may also unfortunately shield drivers from scrutiny from trucking companies. Due to these privacy rules, companies are not notified when a driver is prescribed something that makes driving unsafe.
Drivers in Pennsylvania may feel uncomfortable about driving near commercial trucks, but they will be happy to hear about an AAA study advising trucking companies to consider four safety technologies for their fleet. These are lane departure warning systems, automatic emergency braking, air disc brakes and video-based onboard safety monitoring systems.
If a trucker is in poor health, they may not be a safe driver. This could have consequences for others on the road in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. If a driver has three or more medical conditions, their risk of getting into an accident could be up to four times greater than normal. This was a key finding of a study conducted by the University of Utah School of Medicine.
Back in 2016, through the efforts of Democrats in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration began working on a rule that would set up criteria by which medical examiners could refer truck drivers for a sleep apnea test. However, in August of 2017, the FMCSA officially announced that it had tabled the rule. Whether the decision will remain final is an issue that can affect many in Pennsylvania and across the U.S.
Many Pennsylvania drivers become tense when in close proximity to semi-tractor trailers, and these stresses can sometimes become overwhelming when road conditions are poor and traffic is heavy. While navigating around large commercial vehicles may never bring joy to nervous motorists, these stresses can be reduced and controlled by understanding the dangers involved and taking appropriate steps to mitigate them.
Pennsylvania motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians might be at greater risk of injury if they are in accident with a truck that has spiked wheel ornaments. These are decorations that are used as lug nut covers on tractor trailer wheels. They might be made from metal, aluminum or plastic. The ones that extend beyond the wheel rim may be particularly dangerous for pedestrians or other vehicles.