Fleet managers have many responsibilities. One of those is to make sure and inspect their trucks before the tractor-trailer operator takes it out on the road. While many truckers may not see the point in checking out their truck before it's driven out of the parking lot, federal regulators demand that truckers do this for a reason. Tractor-trailers are large and often heavy. They can do a lot of damage if they're involved in a crash.
Truckers spend a lot of time on the roads, but this doesn't mean that they're immune to fatigue. In an effort to minimize the chance of one of these professional drivers suffering from this problem, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set limits for how long they can drive. These rules are set for interstate hauls, and they must be complied with unless there is a temporary relaxation of the regulations due to a declared disaster.
Semitruck crashes can lead to catastrophic injuries that can cause negative impacts on the victims' lives. These individuals might choose to seek compensation for their injuries, but they will need to know the cause of the accident, so they can ensure they are holding the appropriate parties liable on the claim for compensation.
The Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Transportation and Safety held a hearing in February of 2020 concerning a bill introduced the previous year that, if passed, would open up interstate travel to commercial truck drivers under 21. West Virginia residents should know that every state except Hawaii allows 18- to 20-year-old CMV drivers to travel intrastate.
Commercial motor vehicle drivers in West Virginia and across the U.S. are liable to work while in a drowsy state of mind, which is dangerous. Research shows, for example, that being awake for 18 consecutive hours impairs one in the same way that having a BAC of .08 does.
Sleep apnea is a dangerous disorder that affects about 4% of the general population. However, as those in the trucking industry are aware, it affects around 35% of truckers in West Virginia and across the U.S. Obstructive sleep apnea, the most common type of sleep apnea, occurs when a person's throat muscles and mouth palate relax and collapse, occasionally blocking the upper airway and interrupting sleep.
In West Virginia and across the nation, large trucks are a constant on the roadways. Since these big vehicles can cause a lot of damage, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has a yearly International Roadcheck inspection blitz to help encourage compliance with federal safety regulations. The 2020 inspection spree has been scheduled for May 5-7
The number of fatal truck accidents in West Virginia and around the country rose dramatically between 2009 and 2018. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the agency tasked with regulating the trucking industry, but its last large commercial vehicle accident study was released more than 15 years ago. The FMCSA plans to conduct another large truck accident study due to changes in vehicle safety technology, road design, and driver behavior, and it made a formal proposal on Jan.14 asking for input about factors that should be taken into consideration.
Professional truck drivers understand the importance of driving safely and responsibly on West Virginia roads and others throughout the country. However, large truck accidents do happen, and according to one study, large truck drivers were likely to blame in 44% of such crashes. The Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) found that there were three factors that caused most collisions involving commercial vehicles. One of the main causes were brake problems with the trucks themselves.
For people in West Virginia, truck accidents pose a serious threat on the road. Jackknifing is a particularly dangerous situation on the highway for tractor-trailer drivers to avoid. When a trailer jackknifes, the wheels on the trailer lose traction, and it swings up into a close angle with the cab of a large truck. The front cab or tractor can also jackknife although this is less common. Any pedestrians, cyclists or other vehicles in the way may be crushed or seriously affected.