Trucking accidents can be frightening for drivers on the roadways in Florida. Because a collision with a big rig can lead to severe injuries, major property damage and even death, safety concerns are magnified when it comes to these massive vehicles. One of the threats to trucking safety is the phenomenon of truck driver fatigue. Drowsy drivers can easily become dangerous drivers, dozing off behind the wheel or losing control when hazardous situations emerge.
Therefore, cutting down on truck driver fatigue and drowsy driving is an important public health priority for federal agencies. However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association is currently facing a lawsuit by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association that challenges attempts to regulate and test for a common cause of truck driver fatigue, untreated sleep apnea. OOIDA says that FMCSA regulations for driver physical exams violate a 2013 federal law that requires the agency to go through a full rulemaking process for any potential regulations.
However, FMCSA argued that its regulations did not violate the law as they merely referenced existing guidelines to doctors regarding sleep apnea testing for truck drivers. A panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with FMCSA and dismissed the lawsuit. However, OOIDA is now seeking a rehearing of the case before all 12 judges on the federal appeals court.
People injured in crashes caused by drowsy, distracted or otherwise reckless truckers may suffer lifelong injuries. A personal injury lawyer can work together with an accident victim to seek compensation for hospital bills, lost wages and other issues incurred as a result of a devastating truck crash.