Researchers estimate that every year, more than 100,000 accidents in Florida and across the U.S. are caused by drowsy driving. Fatigue can affect anyone, but it's most often found in commercial truck drivers. This is especially bad news because truck accidents usually lead to catastrophic or fatal injuries.
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.
A trucking association is petitioning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to change service hours regulations for truck drivers in Florida and across the United States. The proposed changes would do away with a required 30-minute rest break and replace it with a rule that lets drivers pause their service clock to get a longer break.
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.
Florida drivers may have extra concern on the roadways when navigating around large trucks and buses. The sheer size of those vehicles can be dominant, and many people know that a crash with a large truck or bus can be particularly devastating. Keeping some safety tips in mind on the road can help to ensure a safe, shared roadway with cars, trucks and buses.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, video technology could prevent up to 63,000 large truck accidents per year. In 2015, trucks driving on Florida and other state roads were involved in over 400,000 accidents. Those crashes resulted in over 4,000 deaths and more than 116,000 injuries. The study took place over a period of 15 months and looked at the cost and safety benefits of adding several different types of technology into large trucks.
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.