According to a recent filing with the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, or OOIDA, is seeking a rehearing of its argument regarding sleep apnea screenings. The OOIDA claims that a recent rule change by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, violates federal law. These regulations have a direct impact on Kentucky drivers given that they seek to limit collisions related to fatigued driving.
Commercial truck drivers in Kentucky will want to know about a proposal to change certain hours of service rules. A year earlier, truckers saw the overturning of rules that allowed only one 34-hour restart per week and that required them to have two early morning periods. The new proposal is now targeting the mandate that all truckers take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of every shift.
On Dec. 12, two U.S. senators introduced a bill that would require all tractor-trailer trucks to have side and front crash guards. Safety experts say that the proposed legislation would make roads safer in Kentucky and across the country.
Every day in Kentucky, passenger vehicles and large commercial trucks share the roads. The sheer size and weight of large trucks present significant dangers to smaller vehicles. However, drivers can apply strategies that will improve safety.
A 2017 study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that the safety benefits provided by the installation of side underride guards on semi trucks are similar to those provided by the installation of rear-mounted guards. Lawmakers have announced they intend to introduce a bill to require tractor-trailers to be equipped with side underride guards in an effort to improve roadway safety in Kentucky and across the country.
As affordable housing grows more remote from metropolitan areas, and as the number of workers increases, a corresponding increase in commuting times can be seen. This is true in Kentucky and throughout the United States. Long commuting times have an especially negative impact on commercial truck drivers as they give drivers less time for rest and put them at risk for health conditions like heart disease.
It is possible for a truck driver to be taken into custody or charged with drug offenses without an employer finding out about it. In some cases, Kentucky or any other state that issued a commercial license may not be notified of the charge either. One man renewed his CDL 10 days after admitting to police that he used heroin after being found unconscious in his rig.
The latest commercial vehicle safety systems could prevent up to 63,000 serious accidents involving semi-tractor trailers each year, according to a recent study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. More than 4,000 road users were killed and a further 116,000 were injured in truck accidents in 2015. However, the study suggests that these figures could be significantly lowered if every tractor-trailer throughout Kentucky and the rest of the U.S. was equipped with lane departure warning systems, video-based safety monitoring equipment, emergency braking technology and air disc brakes.
Kentucky drivers that share the road with commercial truck drivers should be aware that truckers with three or more medical conditions are two to four times more likely to cause an accident. According to a recent study, the risk of a crash occurring increases as a truck driver's health decreases.
Strong demand for air brakes has prompted Bendix to expand its assembly facility in Kentucky. The company promotes its air disc brakes as an important safety element in the trucking industry's future. This product can shorten the distances needed by large trucks to stop.