Long commuting times by truck drivers to be studied

Commercial truck drivers in California may consider commenting on a proposed survey by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The survey will pertain to excessive commuting or commuting that exceeds 150 consecutive minutes by truck drivers.

The focuses of the survey would be the frequency of excessive commuting in commercial motor vehicles and the how many commercial drivers take part in such commuting. The distances that are traveled, the different time zones that are crossed and how fatigue and safety are affected by the commuting will be addressed. The survey also will examine the commuting policies motor carriers have in place.

The FMCSA released a notice regarding the survey that stated the inquiry into the commuting practices of truckers was to comply with the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act's Section 5515. According to that section, the FMCSA is required to administer a study that examines how excessive commutes conducted by motor carrier operators impact safety. The administrator of the FMCSA has to then provide to Congress a report that details the results of the study.

The FMCSA states that excessive commuting time can negatively impact commercial vehicle drivers in more than one way. The time the drivers have to be off duty can be shortened, which can reduce how long they have for personal activities and sleep, which can then result in extreme fatigue while driving. Long commuting times also can affect the health of the drivers, making them more likely to have poor physical fitness and cardiovascular issues, according to one study.

A personal injury attorney may obtain financial compensation on behalf of clients that have been injured in a truck accident that were caused by truck driver fatigue. The motor carrier may be held liable for allowing the negligent driver to be behind the wheel to drive excessively long hours.

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