FMCSA encourages ADAS use, looks to revise HOS regulations

Truck drivers big truck of driver's hands on big truck steering wheel

Truck drivers in Louisiana should know that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is collaborating with several agencies and research institutes in the effort to raise awareness of the benefits of advanced driver assistance systems. ADAS, like automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning systems, have been proven to prevent collisions, and the FMCSA is encouraging companies to incorporate them into their fleets.

The FMCSA is also promoting a pilot program that may allow for interstate commercial truck driving among those aged 18 to 20 with a background in military transportation. Currently, drivers under 21 with a CDL can only travel intrastate. This could be an effective way to address the shortage of long-haul, for-hire truck drivers.

However, such measures will likely meet with opposition. The Drive Safe Act, for instance, would have allowed for younger drivers to be trained for long-haul trucking, but the bill was never passed. This was largely due to the objections of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and various truck safety groups.

Another step that the FMCSA has taken to improve trucker safety is propose changes to the current hours-of-service rules. It is fielding responses to the proposals to make the 30-minute break requirement more flexible, allow drivers to be on the road for 17 instead of 14 hours and more.

It often happens that truckers will ignore the current HOS regulations in order to meet deadlines. Extended times on the road, however, only serve to increase truck driver fatigue and, with it, the risk for an accident. Those who are injured in a truck crash may be able to seek compensation for their injuries, pain and suffering, the wages they lost during their recovery and so on. They may hire a lawyer to assist them with a claim.

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