The FMCSA is asking for input about the commutes truck drivers make before arriving at work.

Charleston, WV- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced November 27, 2017, that their agency is opening comment period to examine “excessive commuting” among truck drivers.

FMSCA Survey of “Excessive Commuting”

The FMCSA will open a 60-day comment period for members of the public and the trucking industry to weigh in on a survey of the commutes truck driver’s make before beginning their trucking routes. The agency defines “excessive commuting” as driving 150 miles or more to work.

Section 5515 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act requires the FMCSA assess the prevalence of “excessive commuting” in the commercial trucking industry. The agency would like input to determine the following:

Number of truck drivers who commute

The distances commuters travel and how much time they spend commuting to and from work along with the type of vehicle used.

If excessive commuting impacts driver fatigue

Trucking company policies regarding driver commutes

In their notice, the FMCSA said long commutes impact drivers in different ways. One concern is that long commutes reduce the amount of rest and downtime a driver gets when they are off-duty which can result in fatigued driving. The agency also cites a study that found long-distance commuters have poor health and high blood pressure.

The agency will take comments until January 26, 2018. Once they complete their survey, the law directs them to present their findings to Congress.

 Why Study Excessive Commuting?

The study of excessive commuting was included in the FAST Act of 2015, following a deadly tractor-trailer crash on the New Jersey Turnpike in 2014. The accident severely injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed comedian James McNair.

When the NTSB conducted their investigation of the accident, they discovered the truck driver commuted from Georgia to Delaware before beginning his route for his employer, Walmart. He had been driving his personal vehicle twelve hours prior to going on-duty and had been driving his rig for several hours before hitting the limo carrying Morgan and several others.

The purpose of the study is to find out if long commutes make a trucker more likely to be involved in a fatigued commercial trucking accident. The FMCSA does not mention the link between the study and the crash in their press release, but it is common knowledge that Morgan’s accident was the catalyst for the research.

The FMCSA is asking for input about the commutes truck drivers make before arriving at work.

Hire a Trucking Accident Lawyer in West Virginia

In their 2013 Large Truck Crash Causation Study, the FMCSA found that fatigued driving accounted for approximately 13 percent of commercial vehicle crashes. Any driver can get drowsy behind the wheel a doze off, but fatigued driving is a major issue in the trucking industry. If a tired truck driver harms you or someone you love, recommends you get legal advice right away. We can connect you with an experienced truck accident lawyer in West Virginia to protect your interests and help you recover maximum compensation. Speak with one of our skilled lawyers before you talk to anyone about your truck wreck.