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How CMV drivers can combat fatigue

Many CMV drivers in Florida and across the U.S. have to struggle with fatigue when on the road, and perhaps they become negligent in not doing enough about it. With the following tips, though, truckers can be more proactive in dealing with fatigue as well as preventing it in the first place.

The only real solution to fatigue, of course, is sleep. Truckers should also avoid driving during those times of the day when the body is naturally tired: for example, between 2 pm and 4 pm and between midnight and 6 am. Diet influences the quality of sleep, so truckers should eat well and regularly. Try not to go to bed with an empty stomach or after a heavy meal. Also, avoid medications that induce drowsiness.

Report calls for updating of NHTSA safety ratings

Back in the 1970s, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration created a program to perform crash tests with dummies as a way to determine vehicle safety. In the 1990s, this program developed the 5-star safety rating system that many drivers in Florida are no doubt familiar with. While the rating system has certainly helped improve vehicle safety, it may be falling behind the times.

This was the contention of a report released in October 2019 by a member of the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. The author points out that the federal government has promised new test procedures for evolving vehicle technology as well as new crash dummies to better represent vehicle occupants, but these have yet to be fulfilled. The U.S. is lagging behind Europe, which conducts four times as many crash tests for rating cars.

Impaired driving involves more than just drugs and alcohol

There are many reasons why car accidents happen, but human error is the leading cause. The choices that Florida drivers make behind the wheel matter, and when they are negligent or reckless, these choices can needlessly endanger others. One of the most common poor choices drivers make is to get behind the wheel while impaired, greatly increasing the chance of car accidents.

Impaired driving encompasses a wide range of behaviors. It includes anything that affects a driver's focus, causes the removal of hands from the wheel or affects cognition and decision-making ability. There is no excuse for this type of negligence, and a driver is responsible for the ways his or her choices affect others. If you are the victim of an accident caused by an impaired driver, you do not have to suffer through the aftermath in silence.

Sleep apnea could cause truck accidents

Truckers with sleep apnea are endangering lives in Florida and across the country. While only 4% of the general population suffer from the sleep disorder, studies show that up to 35% of truck drivers have it.

There are a few kinds of sleep apnea, but truckers are most likely to suffer from a type called obstructive sleep apnea. This condition causes a person's palate and throat muscles to collapse during sleep, causing loud snoring, air blockages and sleep disruption. If left untreated, it can lead to a number of serious health problems, including hypertension and heart disease. Being overweight is one of the known risk factors associated with sleep apnea, and truckers may be more susceptible to obesity because their job is sedentary.

CVSA's annual inspection spree set for May 2020

Commercial vehicle drivers in Florida may know about the International Roadcheck, a 72-hour inspection spree that the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance holds every year to enforce federal truck safety regulations. The CVSA has announced that the 2020 roadcheck will take place from May 5 to 7: a full month earlier than usual for the sake of more favorable weather conditions.

As with previous years, the 2020 roadcheck will consist of mostly North American Standard Level I inspections. These 37-point inspections cover virtually every part of a truck, including the braking system, exhaust system, driveline components, suspension, steering, tires, lights and fuel system. Proper cargo securement is another area covered by this most comprehensive of all federal inspections.

Is your insurance company acting in bad faith?

A motor vehicle accident is usually an event that brings nothing but bad news. You and others in your car may suffer painful injuries. Your vehicle sustains damage. You may lose days at work at a time when medical bills begin piling up. The good news is that if you have paid your insurance premiums, your insurer should cover your losses according to your policy terms.

However, it is not uncommon for accident victims to receive even more bad news when their insurer acts in bad faith. This means that the insurance company has no intention of fulfilling its obligation to you. This dishonesty can result in more suffering and frustration for you and your family.

FMCSA asks for input on upcoming truck accident study

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is responsible for implementing and enforcing commercial vehicle regulations that are designed to protect road users in Florida and around the country. Regulating industries that are vital to the nation's economic well-being effectively can only be accomplished if the government agencies involved have relevant and accurate data to work with, but the FMCSA still relies on information provided by a large truck crash study conducted in 2003.

Much has changed since then, and the FMCSA understands that the data it currently uses was produced before cellphones were in wide use and semi-autonomous vehicle safety technologies like automatic emergency braking and lane departure systems were introduced. The FMCSA plans to conduct another commercial vehicle accident study to bridge this information gap, and a proposal from the agency published in the Federal Register on Jan. 15 asks for input on how the effort should be designed and conducted.

The benefits of seeking medical care after an accident

The first concern after a car accident is seeing to your health and well-being. Emergency responders will likely approach you and ask to look you over, and it is always wise to accept their offer. They can see things you cannot, such as the reaction of your eyes and the condition of your skin, that could indicate injuries you may not realize you have suffered.

However, even if emergency medical technicians assess you and find no obvious injuries, it is critical that you seek medical attention as soon as possible, especially if you are having any pain or discomfort. While it is normal to feel sore after the jostling of a motor vehicle accident, you cannot always be certain that the pain you are feeling isn't indicating a more serious issue.

Red light cameras are under scrutiny but save lives

Florida residents who speed quickly through red lights may be aware of red light camera programs in their communities. Red light cameras are designed to take a picture of those who run a red light. These pictures are then sent with a citation to the driver.

Critics say that red light cameras are merely used as a source of revenue for states while advocates for the cameras say that they reduce accidents and fatalities. Both sides are partially true. Some cities, such as Chicago, have been criticized for having the shortest allowable times for yellow lights while having the highest usage of a red light system in the country. This potentially results in profitable revenue for the city.

Study shows hands-free phones lead to other distractions

Florida residents are no doubt aware that distracted driving is a serious concern. Every day in this country, at least nine people die in auto accidents involving a distracted driver. Distractions are numerous: using the phone, using a navigation system, adjusting the volume on the radio, eating, drinking etc. Some avoid the dangers of handheld phone use by opting for hands-free devices, but this has its drawbacks.

A study from Lytx, the maker of video telematics and fleet management software, shows that many truck drivers who use hands-free devices engage in other distracting activities at the same time. Lytx was able to study some 100,000 risky driving events caught on video; 23% of these events had a driver engaging in multiple risky behaviors.

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Our legal team consists of attorney Wm. Dennis Brannon and his son C. Paul Brannon. We work together as a father and son team to provide our clients with exceptional service and solutions in motor vehicle accident claims and other personal injury matters.

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