Commuting Habits Impact SafetyMay 8, 2018
It is widely known that truck drivers spend long hours on the road, often with too little sleep between shifts. This can lead to devastating truck accidents when a drowsy truck driver either falls asleep at the wheel or fails to keep their attention focused on the road. Some truck drivers have a lengthy commute before they even start their shift. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hopes to address this issue by surveying truckers about the amount of time they spend commuting in their own personal vehicles, and the effect this has on driver fatigue.
To proceed with the survey, the FMCSA is required to submit a request to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which they have done. If their request is granted, the FMCSA will publish a notice asking truck drivers to participate in the survey. The agency hopes to have a minimum of 500 drivers complete the survey, half of which will be bus drivers and half truck drivers. The survey will specifically look at drivers whose commute exceeds two and a half hours. The survey will look for feedback on the following factors:
- Driver’s work history
- Commuting times
- Transportation mode
- Driver’s schedules
- Rest periods
- Annual miles driven
- Demographic information
High-Profile Accident Raises Awareness of Long Commutes
In 2014, a highly publicized truck accident involving actor, Tracy Morgan, left Morgan seriously injured and comedian James McNair fatally injured. The truck driver involved in the accident had fallen asleep at the wheel before striking the rear of Morgan’s Mercedes Sprinter van. Prior to starting his shift for Walmart’s private fleet, the driver had an 800-mile commute from Georgia to Delaware. In the 33 hours leading up to the crash, the truck driver had only slept for approximately four hours. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, it was determined that the truck driver’s fatigue was the cause of the devastating accident.
In its request to the OMB, the FMCSA discussed the dangerous effects that long commutes can have, both for the truck driver and other motorists who are sharing the road. For example, it can have a negative impact on the individual’s off-duty time, including time away from family. It can also cause excessive fatigue while on duty, which has obvious safety concerns. In addition, it can jeopardize a driver’s health, leading to conditions like obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Drowsy Driving
If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident involving a truck driver who was drowsy at the time of the crash, it is in your best interest to contact the Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. Drowsy driving is a severe problem in the trucking industry, particularly for drivers who have a long commute prior to their shift. We will determine who is responsible for your injuries and seek the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent truck accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.