As the calendar year 2017 draws to a close, a new federal mandate will go into effect in Ohio and other states across the nation. According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration officials, the Electronic Logging Device mandate will keep fatigued truck drivers off the roadway, preventing hundreds of trucking-related accidents each year. Members of at least one trade organization appear to disagree. Arguing that the mandate has little to do with safety, the president of the United Independent Truckers of America claims that the ELD regulation is simply an attempt by the government to "kill" the small trucking company industry.
The lives of 500 road users in Ohio and around the country could be saved each year if all tractor-trailers were fitted with the latest safety equipment and systems according to a study released recently by the Automobile Association of America's Foundation for Traffic Safety. AAA researchers came to this conclusion after studying the impact that lane departure alerts, air disc brakes, video-based monitoring technology and automatic emergency braking systems would have on road safety. They based their casualty estimates on figures gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2015 when 400,000 truck crashes claimed more than 4,000 lives and caused roughly 116,000 injuries.
Truckers in Ohio may benefit from President Trump's unwillingness to add new regulations. A proposed rule that would have required truckers to have speed limiters put on their trucks was removed from the active rulemakings list. This was according to an updated version of the DOT regulatory calendar. It is not clear if the DOT will choose to look into or adopt that rule again in the future.
Ohio truckers may have to undergo more testing or deal with regulations regarding sleep apnea following an April U.S. Supreme Court decision. In the case, a driver appealed a decision by a lower court that ruled that his employer had a right to require him to be tested for sleep apnea. The company, Crete Carrier Corp., required that workers with a body mass index of 35 or higher be tested. The man refused to take the test, so he was fired.
The number of large trucks involved in fatal accidents around the country increased by 8 percent in 2015 from the previous year according to data released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The federal agency's annual Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts report indicates that both the number of deadly truck accidents, many of which were in Ohio, and the number of fatal crashes per 100 million miles covered by large commercial vehicles increased as well between 2014 and 2015.
Ohio truck drivers may find their vehicles, and their cargo loads in particular, undergoing a close inspection during June 6-8. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has announced that its annual International Roadcheck inspection blitz will occur over this 72-hour period.
Ohio motorists may want to know that commercial truck drivers with three or more health problems are more likely to be involved in traffic accidents. A study found that many truck drivers have trouble staying healthy because they are sedentary for long periods of time and often develop poor eating and sleeping habits.
If you find yourself changing lanes, slowing down or making similar efforts to keep from having to drive near semi-trucks, you are not alone. Given the sheer size of such vehicles, they are prone to obstructing your vision, and this is one of many reasons motorists often try and avoid them on the roadway altogether.
In response to a memorandum issued by President Trump, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has officially announced the delay of a new rule that would establish truck driver training standards in Ohio and nationwide. The rule was scheduled to take effect on Feb. 6 and was published in the Federal Register on Dec. 8, 2016.
Commercial drivers in the state of Ohio will soon be required to comply with a federal program that provides preliminary screening of driver applicants. Although it had been delayed by a court battle over questions of driver privacy, the matter has recently been resolved in favor of the government.