A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report has revealed a trend in fatal traffic crashes that should be of interest to drivers in California. It appears that while car crash fatalities went down in 2017, large truck accident deaths went up. In fact, they increased by 9 percent from 4,369 to 4,761.
Truckers in California may have been pulled over for a brake inspection during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's Brake Safety Week, which took place in mid-September. Even if they were not, they will want to ensure that their brakes are compliant with federal guidelines. It all begins with a 10- to 15-minute inspection where drivers walk around their truck and physically check their equipment.
Between June 5 and 7, there were 11,897 vehicles taken off of the road as part of the International Roadcheck event. It was held by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and also resulted in 2,664 drivers being removed from service. Drivers were largely taken off the road because of hours-of-service violations or problems with their licenses. In many cases, licenses were either expired or suspended. Some drivers were found to be driving the wrong class of vehicle.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is proposing to change its hours-of-service rules for commercial truck drivers in California and the rest of the nation. The organization is asking for comments from the public. The proposed changes will expand the air-mile 'short-haul" exemption, extend the on-duty limitation, revise the mandatory break for continuous driving and allow some drivers to split up the on-duty rest break. These proposed changes were posted in the Federal Register on August 23, 2018.
Truck drivers in California and throughout the country may experience fatigue for a number of different reasons. In some cases, it is because they have been behind the wheel for too many hours. In others, it is because they didn't get enough sleep or were feeling stressed because of events that took place at home. If a driver is fatigued, it could put that person at risk of poor performance or a citation.
Many trucking companies from throughout California and the rest of America have argued that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's Compliance, Safety, Accountability program produces unfair and inaccurate scores about their safety records. The FAST Act highway bill signed by the president in 2015 directed the FMCSA to reform its methods for rating trucking carriers, collecting data about safety and selecting companies for compliance reviews.
Anyone in California who makes a living driving work vehicles like big rigs, vans or pick-ups will want to know about a study conducted by Verizon Connect. The fleet management systems provider examined the driver behavior of more than 6,200 of its fleet customers using data from October 2015 to September 2017. These customers were small and mid-size businesses with 2 to 200 work vehicles.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has two brake inspection campaigns planned for this year, and they are aimed exclusively at the drivers of commercial motor vehicles. CMV drivers across California and the rest of the U.S. could benefit from knowing the details, and they will want to make sure their brakes are properly installed and maintained. Functioning brakes will help trucks and buses maintain a reasonable stopping distance and keep other drivers safe.
Semi truck drivers in California may be facing stricter safety checks in the future. In particular, officers may be checking log books for signs of overworked drivers.
There are good reasons for drivers to be wary around large commercial trucks on the road. When these collide with passenger vehicles, the passengers die in 97 percent of all fatal crashes. Should they survive, they can be left with serious physical and mental conditions. Below are just a few of the most common.