Tag Archives: drowsy driving

FMCSA ANPRM re: Eval. of Truck Drivers for Sleep Apnea; Public Comment Period ends 7/8/16

Take advantage of the opportunity to comment on FMCSA’s rulemaking — extended through July 8, 2016, on this Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:

Evaluation of Safety Sensitive Personnel for Moderate-to-Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea A Proposed Rule by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration on 03/10/2016

Tired Trucker Roundtable

Make a comment here: Federal Register: regulations.gov on sleep apnea & truck drivers

I propose a Tired Trucker Roundtable to more comprehensively address driver fatigue crashes.

After the truck crash which killed AnnaLeah and Mary, we never saw the truck driver’s paper log books and he was not able to tell us why he hit us. We suspect that drowsy driving may well have played a part. But it is a very difficult thing to prove.

I can’t go back and re-do that day and make sure that truck driver is fully alert throughout his entire work day on the road–especially that stretch of I-20 in Georgia near Exit 130. But I can advocate for the widespread public health problem of driver fatigue to be recognized and tackled.

Tired Trucker Roundtable

I am soooo tired of the political tug-of-war over truck driver hours of service. It isn’t solving the basic problem, folks. And the problem isn’t going to go away if there is no change in how it is addressed.

Just like with the deadly underride issue, we need to gather together people and organizations from all over the board, including truckers, truck companies, sleep doctors, regulatory officials from DOT and the Department of Labor and CDC’s Department of Injury Prevention, sleep researchers, safety advocates, and victims of tired trucker crashes.

At this life-changing event, let’s communicate about every possible factor which can contribute to drowsy driving–including, but most certainly not limited to, the truckers’ hours of service on the job and research on driver fatigue. And then, let’s brainstorm together about how this Goliath can be conquered through collaborative strategies and solutions.

A Tired Trucker Roundtable. Now that would be worthy of shouting, “Awesome!” Eh, Mary?!

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Vision Zero collaborative creativity can achieve amazzzzing results!

 

Should Congress be deciding trucker hours? Maybe they should set a National Vision Zero Goal instead.

Perhaps, instead of deciding what trucker hours of service should look like, Congress or the President of this fine country of ours should establish a White House Vision Zero Task Force and authorize Vision Zero Rulemaking to save lives. Just sayin’ . . .
Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

What should Hours of Service Rules be for safety on the roads?

I have often thought that if anyone in a position of responsibility for governing this question were required to spend one week riding with a truck driver before voting or acting on it in the Executive or Judicial branches, the rule would be closer to:

*   40 hour week

*  5 day week maximum

*  8 hour day with 1/2 hour for lunch and two 15 minute breaks in each 4 hour stretch.

Do you think any longer hours will result in preventable deaths and serious injuries and be a form of economic slavery?

Lou Lombardo
Driving While Fatigued

Truck Driver Fatigue: a problem with deadly results deserves nat’l priority status

FMCSA and FRA to Host Public Listening Sessions on Obstructive Sleep Apnea among Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers and Rail Workers – See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-and-fra-host-public-listening-sessions-obstructive-sleep-apnea-among-commercial-motor#sthash.0ekKDOVU.dpuf:

May 12, Washington, D.C.

May 17, Chicago

May 25, Los Angeles

There are many factors which may contribute to driver fatigue–sleep apnea is one, along with the pressure to reach a destination and put many hours on the road in order to make a living (wage compensation), not to mention the monotony of long hours on the road.

Articles on truck driver fatigue:

Sleep apnea is one problem that needs attention. But to take the problem of truck driver fatigue seriously, we need to cover all the bases. http://annaleahmary.com/driver-fatigue/

Driving While Fatigued

President Obama, please establish a White House Vision Zero Task Force to address deadly truck driver fatigue, along with many other traffic safety issues: Letter to President Obama from the Karth Family

Life & Death Traffic Safety Problems Deserve Proper Treatment: Not Political Tug-of-War Game!

Driven distracted lately? You and who else? Where will we end up?

With a national focus on Distracted Driving this month, I thought that I would highlight the posts which I have written on that deadly subject: Distracted Driving posts on annaleahmary.com.

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Life & Death Traffic Safety Problems Deserve Proper Treatment: Not Political Tug-of-War Game!

I have said it before and I’ll say it again: Life & death traffic safety problems deserve to be handled appropriately and not like some political tug-of-war game played by industry lobbyists, administrators, and legislators!

I have offered what seems to me to be a reasonable alternative when I petitioned President Obama to resolve our national traffic safety travesty in this way:

  1. Set a National Vision Zero Goal (which would serve to raise national awareness and direct national priorities with the goal in mind of doing everything possible to move our country ever closer to zero crash deaths & serious injuries).
  2. Establish a White House Vision Zero Task Force to address these traffic safety problems in an interdisciplinary, non-political manner.
  3. Sign a Vision Zero Executive Order to pave the way for Vision Zero Rulemaking that could truly make Saving Lives a priority rather than an afterthought.

See more here about this ongoing problem & my recommended solution:

  1. An ongoing battle over trucker hours of service and its impact on truck driver fatigue and inevitably fatal crashes is addressed in two recent articles: Maine Voices: In the long haul, tired truck drivers result in hazardous highways and Trucks Are Getting More Dangerous And Drivers Are Falling Asleep At The Wheel. Thank Congress.
  2. I wrote about the congressional truck safety legislation fiasco here: “Trucks Are Getting More Dangerous And Drivers Are Falling Asleep At The Wheel. Thank Congress.” and, of course, here we have addressed the driver fatigue problem at length on our website: Driver Fatigue on annaleahmary.com
  3. We delivered over 20,000 Vision Zero Petition signatures to Washington, DC, on March 5, 2016, in the form of a book which we distributed to key leaders asking for bottomline change and a major paradigm shift in how all traffic safety problems are addressed: Tell Obama you are standing with us in this: “Family Continues Fight for Trucking Safety”

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End Driver Fatigue: Illinois State Police conduct 1650+ truck inspections during “OPERATION SAUTER”

Motor vehicle inspections should be done this thoroughly on a regular basis–not just one day. Monitoring and enforcement plays a big role in preventing crashes due to truck driver fatigue–an ongoing problem. Illinois State Police conduct over 1650 inspections during “OPERATION SAUTER”

And it should be done in every state. Why on earth don’t we establish National Traffic Safety Standards & require them to be adopted by States?

Driving While Fatigued

Somebody has to take personal responsibility & be accountable for the danger of the trucking industry.

“At some point, somebody has to take personal responsibility & be accountable for the danger of this industry. More truck drivers are killed on the job than any other occupation. More than 500 truck drivers are killed every year in truck crashes. . . I don’t know any other industry where that’s allowed .  .  . and people are looking the other way.

“We need to have this prosecuted at the industry or company level, because that’s where the problem lies. . . The industry drives them harder and longer than they should. The result is catastrophic death and injury all across the country

“If we could get a change in some of the laws. . . to the point where company executives are criminally responsible for the violations of their drivers’ Hours of Service, you would see a lot of things change in the industry. You might see some changes that are long overdue,”  says Jeff Burns, Truck Litigation Attorney.

Jeff Burns, National Transportation Counsel for the Truck Safety Coaltion, discusses the issue of truck crash prosecutions and the challenges facing victims of truck crashes. Prosecutors across the country are choosing not to prosecute those responsible for deadly truck crashes. Furthermore, drivers and companies are facing only minimal fines, much less than a speeding motorist, for reckless driving that results in an accident and/or death. Visit www.trucksafety.org for more information on how you can help in the fight to make our highways safer for everyone. June 14, 2011

Some previous posts which I have written on the issues of justice related to truck crashes:

Responsibility

 

StopSleep device detects loss of concentration & fatigue, warning drivers: Stop, Revive and Survive.

Here is a device to counteract drowsy driving dangers: StopSleep® – Drive Safely

Worn on just two fingers, the StopSleep device detects loss of concentration and fatigue, warning drivers it is time to Stop, Revive and Survive.

10.52 a.m. Crown Vic May 4 2013

New Study: Crash risk soars among truck drivers who fail to adhere to sleep apnea treatment

A recently released study shows that the risk of a crash risk soars among truck drivers who fail to adhere to sleep apnea treatment.

Results show that the rate of serious, preventable crashes was 5 times higher among truck drivers with sleep apnea who failed to adhere to PAP therapy, compared with matched controls. In contrast, the crash rate of drivers with sleep apnea who were fully or partially adherent with treatment was statistically similar to controls.

“The most surprising result of our study is the strength and robustness of the increase in the crash risk for drivers with sleep apnea who fail to adhere to mandated treatment with positive airway pressure therapy,” said lead author Stephen V. Burks, PhD, professor of economics and management and principal investigator of the Truckers & Turnover Project at the University of Minnesota, Morris. “The results of our study support the establishment of obstructive sleep apnea screening standards for all drivers through the commercial driver’s medical exam.”

Read more here:  Crash risk soars among truck drivers who fail to adhere to sleep apnea treatment

If we had a National Vision Zero Goal and Vision Zero Rulemaking Policies, what would we do with this information?

According to the authors, panels of medical experts previously convened by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have recommended comprehensive sleep apnea screening for commercial drivers. However, rather than instituting mandatory screening, current federal regulations rely on drivers to self-report sleep apnea symptoms during a biennial medical examination to determine their fitness for duty. On March 8, 2016, the FMCSA and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a joint Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which is the first step as both agencies consider whether to propose specific requirements for screening, evaluating and treating rail workers and commercial motor vehicle drivers for obstructive sleep apnea.

If we were actually serious about saving lives, then we would do everything humanly possible to prevent crash deaths. Here’s a chance to do it right.

According to study co-author Charles A. Czeisler, PhD, MD, FRCP, chief of the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Baldino Professor of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. “Given that the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia and premature death are similarly increased in people with untreated obstructive sleep apnea, regulatory agencies worldwide owe it to truck drivers and to the motorists who share the road with them to require objective screening, diagnostic testing, and treatment adherence monitoring for all commercial drivers.”

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