Florida motorists may not relish the thought of driving next to a large truck. However, there are ways that they can safely share the road with them. For instance, drivers should resist the urge to speed up and get in front of a truck if it starts to drift into their lane. In most cases, the truck won't be able to slow down in time to avoid an accident.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration withdrew a rulemaking, or pursuit of implementing a rule, regarding sleep apnea testing for truck drivers. Florida drivers might be interested in the proposed rule, which would have required sleep apnea testing for up to 40 percent of drivers due to certain conditions, including body mass index and age, before they could receive certification.
According to federal estimates, around 475,000 large trucks are in accidents around the country each year, many of which take place in Florida. These accidents result in more than 5,000 fatalities and around 140,000 injuries. Roughly 70 percent of all crashes involving a large truck are caused by automobile drivers. This is despite the fact that truckers are often blamed for driving too fast or otherwise being careless behind the wheel.
People in Florida have faced increased vehicle crash threats from large trucks and buses, according to statistics from 1975 to 2015. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released an array of data showing that, in 2015, over 4,000 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes.
Florida motorists may be interested to learn that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a class-action lawsuit on June 19 brought by six truck drivers against the U.S. Department of Transportation. The truck drivers had alleged that the pre-employment reports the DOT distributed to carriers made it more difficult for them to find work as it disparaged their reputations. The truck drivers were supported by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.
Florida truck drivers may know that, following a five-month delay, a rule that sets national training standards became law that was effective as of June 5. The rule comes with a three-year compliance window and will apply to those receiving their CDLs on or after Feb. 7, 2020, and after.
Truck drivers in Florida and around the country may be more likely to be tested for sleep apnea after an April Supreme Court decision. The nation's highest court ruled that it would not hear arguments in a case brought by a truck driver who claims that such testing violates the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Obstructive sleep apnea is a debilitating condition that can cause extreme fatigue and exhaustion, and experts at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have urged for mandatory sleep apnea testing of truck drivers with body mass indexes of 35 or higher.