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.
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.
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.
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.
Because of the size and mass of the vehicles involved, large truck accidents present a serious threat to safety on Florida highways. When a tractor-trailer crashes, the occupants of other vehicles are much more likely to suffer from severe injuries or fatalities. There are several common reasons for trucking crashes, even though professional truck drivers are actually less likely than passenger car drivers to cause an accident. Nevertheless, the effects can be devastating when a negligent truck driver is at fault.
Florida residents should know what factors are normally involved in truck accidents. This way, they may be more vigilant when sharing the road with big rigs. There are five common factors, the most widespread being driver error. Truckers, like anyone else, can be found driving drowsy, driving distracted, speeding or driving under the influence of alcohol.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance promotes safe driving practices among commercial drivers in Florida and nationwide. In July 2019, CVSA joined forces with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to organize Operation Safe Driver Week. This event directed law enforcement to focus on speeding due to its contribution to many fatal crashes. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that more than 25% of traffic fatalities since 2008 involved speeding. Among commercial drivers issued citations during the event, 1,454 of them had been speeding. Another 2,126 commercial drivers received warnings for speeding.
Florida truckers may rank among some of the most sleep-deprived workers in the state. The consequences can be significant not only for the truckers, who may suffer increased risks of serious health effects, but also for everyone else sharing the road as truck driver fatigue is a major contributor to serious trucking accidents. According to one study released by Ball State University, 35.6% of Americans received inadequate nightly sleep, assessed by researchers as seven hours nightly or less. This is a nearly 5% increase from a 2010 study, which showed 30.9% of Americans receiving insufficient nightly sleep.
Truckers in Florida have a duty to maintain their vehicles, and that includes their brakes. Good brakes keep a truck's braking distance to a minimum, which lowers the risk for rear-end collisions, but unfortunately, many truckers are indifferent to this. Even fleet owners and mechanics do not emphasize it as much as they ought to, which is part of the reason why there is an annual inspection spree to ensure brake safety.
Commercial truck accidents have become increasingly common in Florida and other U.S. states over the last few years. According to safety advocates, one of the possible causes of the problem could be sleep apnea.