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FMCSA to survey truck drivers on excessive commuting

Florida readers may be interested to learn that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration intends to conduct a survey regarding truck drivers who engage in "excessive commuting." A notice of the survey was published in the Federal Register on Nov. 27, and the agency is seeking public comments until Jan. 26, 2018.

According to the FMCSA, excessive commuting is defined as any work commute longer than 150 minutes. The purpose of the survey is to ascertain how common lengthy commutes are among commercial drivers, the number of drivers who commute, the distances they travel, the types of commuting policies used by trucking companies and the potential health and safety dangers of long commutes. The information is being collected to fulfill a requirement of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act. The findings will be reported to Congress.

The FMCSA reports that commuting distances by commercial drivers have increased over the last 20 years. According to the agency, excessive commuting can negatively impact drivers by cutting into their off-duty time and harming their health. In June 2014, a Walmart truck driver caused a crash that injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed comedian James McNair. An investigation found that the driver had commuted 12 hours before starting his 14-hour shift.

When a commercial truck collides with a passenger car or truck, the occupants of the smaller vehicle may suffer catastrophic injuries. In order to recover damages, an injured victim might file a personal injury lawsuit against the truck driver who hit them. If the complaint is successful, the driver or trucking company may be ordered to pay the victim's medical expenses, lost wages and more. Injured victims may learn more about their rights by contacting an attorney who handles truck accidents.

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