FMCSA study to learn more about trucker commutes

Truckers in Pennsylvania may get an opportunity to be a part of a new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration survey. The agency is going to ask 500 drivers for information about their driving habits, including commute lengths. One of the priorities of the FMCSA is to find out if drivers are commuting more than 2.5 hours to their jobs.

It will also seek to learn more about the demographics of bus and truck drivers as well as how many miles they drive each year. Furthermore, the survey could shed some light on driver schedules and when they typically decide to take breaks or stop to eat. Finally, it will seek to learn more about driver work histories. In 2015, the FAST Act asked the FMCSA to carry out such research. The survey will need to be approved by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

It is believed that long commute times may make it harder for drivers to safely operate on the road. Long commutes can also cut into a driver’s personal time, which can degrade quality of life. Interest in the subject increased after actor Tracy Morgan was injured in a collision between his limo and a commercial truck. At the time of the accident, the at-fault truck driver had only slept four out of the prior 33 hours.

Drivers who do not get adequate sleep may be at a higher risk for causing an accident. If truck driver fatigue does play a role in an accident, the injured victim might be entitled to compensation. This could cover medical bills or make up for lost wages or future earnings. Cases can be resolved either through informal settlement talks or resolved through a formal trial.