Commercial truckers in West Virginia and the rest of the nation may soon be able to have 3 off-duty hours during their 14-hour on-duty work period. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has submitted a petition to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requesting that the 30-minute rest period currently required by regulations be reversed and that drivers be given up to 3 consecutive hours of break time during their 14-hour work day.
In West Virginia, large trucks and semi-trailers play a significant role in the economy and the transportation of products. The men and women who drive these vehicles have important jobs, but they are often behind the wheel for long periods at a time. When a truck driver is exhausted behind the wheel, he or she is likely too tired to drive safely.
Drivers in West Virginia and across the United States may be avoiding collisions and staying safer on the roadways due to automotive warning technologies. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that systems like lane departure warnings or blind spot alerts can play a major role in cutting down the number of car crashes, particularly those that cause injuries. The IIHS study looked at over 5,000 car accidents in 2015 of the type that these systems are intended to prevent.
Experts believe that distracted driving may be a cause in the rise in traffic fatalities across West Virginia and the rest of the nation. Smartphones have proven to be one of the most frequent sources of distraction, with 52 percent of users stating in a Consumer Reports survey that they have texted, sent emails, browsed the Internet, and watched videos while behind the wheel.
While drunk driving receives a lot of media attention for the risks it poses, West Virginia motorists have reason to be concerned about another form of driving under the influence - drugged driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is working to draw attention to this type of reckless behavior.
A collision between a car and a tractor-trailer can be devastating in any circumstance. Many of the worst injuries come when a car slides under a tractor-trailer. While modern automobiles have many safety features, underride crashes can render many of these features completely worthless.