The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) yesterday published proposed rulemaking to the hours of service rules in an effort to increase safety by providing drivers additional flexibility.
We provide important legal developments, summaries and analyses impacting those involved in the trucking industry and the defense of trucking-related claims and lawsuits.
Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard Associate Larry Hall recently completed the Illinois Trucking Association’s (ITA) Leadership Training Program. The multi-session program focuses on developing a range of leadership skills, meetings with ITA leadership, industry specific and communications training, and eduction on the promotion of the trucking industry. Larry was one of 15 graduates of the class.
A controversial topic at many industry functions I have attended is whether trucking companies should ban or limit cellphone use by their drivers while behind the wheel of a commercial motor vehicle. This controversy was further illustrated in a recent article by David Wren entitled Lawsuit Settlement Could Lead to More Cellphone Bans by Trucking Firms. The article discusses a settlement agreement reached in a personal injury lawsuit, where the personal injury plaintiffs alleged the commercial vehicle operator was distracted because he was using a hands-free device to talk on his phone at the time of the crash.
A recent article by Seth Clevenger published in Transport Topics explores ways executives can improve fleet safety. Several fleet executives spoke at the 2016 ALK Transportation Technology Summit about how their investments in technology have significantly increased safety and reduced claims costs at their companies. The installation of onboard video cameras, collision mitigation systems, departure warning systems, speed limiters and collision avoidance systems were all cited as way to improve fleet safety and decrease litigation costs.
On March 10, 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requested comments regarding proposed rulemaking related to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and its effects on transportation safety. OSA causes restless sleep, which can lead to deficits in attention, concentration, situational awareness, and memory. While all truck drivers are screened for respiratory issues, FMCSA’s notice could lead to OSA-specific screening requirements. FMCSA’s medical review board recommended using a body mass index (BMI) of 33 as a screening indicator for OSA, which is notable in light of the Nebraska District Court’s recent decision in Parker v. Crete Carrier Corporation.