In August of 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration officially withdrew a bill meant to set up criteria for obstructive sleep apnea testing among truck operators. The FMCSA had been working on the bill throughout the previous year, taking up suggestions made by the Medical Advisory Board and setting up public meetings with trucking industry stakeholders. It was dropped at the pre-rule stage.
There are many reasons why a Louisiana resident may be involved in a truck accident. In some cases, the driver of the truck may have been distracted, driving too fast for road conditions or making unsafe lane changes when the collision occurred. However, truck drivers are not always at fault when an accident takes place. In fact, car owners are responsible for the majority of collisions involving big rigs that occur in the United States.
Louisiana motorists may not know that the U.S. Department of Transportation has withdrawn two proposed rules aimed at the trucking industry, according to the agency's biannual regulatory calendar update report. The withdrawals are reportedly due in part to the Trump administration's aversion to new federal regulations.
Fatal accidents involving buses and semi-tractor trailers are becoming a worryingly common occurrence in Louisiana and around the country according to figures from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The agency's Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts report reveals that the number of large commercial trucks and buses involved in deadly crashes increased by 8 percent to 4,311 in 2015. The number of fatal accidents buses and large trucks were involved in for each 100 million miles driven also increased by 8 percent from 1.34 in 2014 to 1.45 in 2015 according to the report.
Some people are criticizing a new federal rule for truck driver training in Louisiana and throughout the U.S. because they say it doesn't go far enough in ensuring new drivers have sufficient behind-the-wheel time. The new federal rules went into effect as of June 5. However, there is a lengthy implementation period, as carriers and trainers will have until February 2017 to be in compliance.
Louisiana motorists who plan to be driving during the 2017 International Roadcheck event may want to know more about the annual safety inspection spree. Set to begin on June 6, the inspection blitz is scheduled to take place over 72 hours across the U.S. and in Canada. Safety inspectors will check approximately 15 commercial vehicles per minute for safety violations.
Louisiana truck drivers might be likelier to face new regulations about sleep apnea following a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. The court declined to hear a case in which a truck driver claimed that his employer violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by asking him to get tested for sleep apnea.
Commercial truck drivers in Louisiana may be subject to inspection June 6-8 when the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance conducts its annual International Roadcheck inspection event. Over the 48-hour period, the organization will focus on cargo securement.
Louisiana residents may be familiar with autonomous truck technology. A company called Starsky Robotics is aiming to make it possible to control a truck remotely from an office. The truck is fitted with a kit that allows a person to control the steering, throttle and transmission. The company relies on front and side-facing radar, computer software and cameras to allow the truck to navigate on the highway.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has asked cellphone makers like Samsung, Motorola and Apple to help them protect road users in Louisiana and around the country from distracted drivers. According to the federal safety agency's figures, about 10 percent of those who lost their lives in road traffic accidents in 2015 were killed in a collision that involved at least one distracted car or truck driver, and the widespread use of cellphones and other mobile devices while behind the wheel is seen as a leading reason for this type of crash.