Automobile accidents involving commercial vehicles are more commonplace than one might be led to believe. Those who were in accidents of this nature often wonder what their next step should be. Contacting a commercial vehicle accident injury lawyer would be the most practical move to make. The regulations and statutes pertaining to these types of accidents are constantly subject to change. Therefore, it’s extremely beneficial to have a professional commercial vehicle accident injury lawyer on your side. Why? To assist you in better understanding what cases like these often entail.
The dynamics between a licensing organization and its constituents – or in this case, it’s carriers – can be a fine balance. A governing board ultimately exists to establish, maintain and regulate standards to protect its members and the public. However, maintaining a respectful balance is often a slippery slope. This is true for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This organization maintains and regulates the driver, vehicle, cargo, and corporation standards for trucking goods throughout North America.
In a sense, FMCSA administers and check points their regulation, and policies the roads with the help of the state police and highway patrol. They establish the regulations for carrier drive logs and filter information as it differs from state to state. Fines for a carrier or LLC being in violation of these regulations can be exorbitant. Therefore while the FMCSA is a safety organization, many truckers like to stay out of their way.
One recently contested issue for both parties is that a sanctioned physician must perform mandated Medical Fitness exams on drivers that agrees to comply with the measuring standards of the FMCSA. On addition, the question of costly sleep studies has come under the gun. Driver medical standards are basically testing for things like reaction time, vision and general overall health. The top health factors that decide if a carrier can drive safely are the risk of heart attack, diabetes and stroke. It’s a bit of a morbid regime, but a necessary one. The danger between having a heart attack at home compared to having one when operating a commercial vehicle carrying a heavy or even hazardous load could be catastrophic for hundreds of other motorists, as well as the driver.
Of course, when sensitive body and health issues come into regulation, like weight and BMI, there will always be some resistance to the governing body. This is particularly true in relation to employment, and one’s ability to earn a living. Recently the FMCSA mandated that carriers with a certain neck circumference and BMI participate in a sleep study for Sleep Apnea. This condition prevents oxygen from getting to the brain while breathing. Sleep Apnea also seriously impedes a sufferer’s ability to get a good night sleep. It’s common for those with Sleep Apnea to fall asleep at inopportune times because of restless nights.
Carriers are meeting the new requirements with a bit of resistance as insurance does not always cover the tests. If a physician diagnoses a worker with Sleep Apnea, the driver must wear an assisting head piece while sleeping. This prescription regimen allows the sufferer to get more oxygen to the brain and blood while sleeping. Ultimately, this head gear allow them to remain more awake and alert while operating their commercial vehicle.
Because this is an invasive and time consuming study, many carriers are attempting to dodge the requirement. The policy and the teams of health professionals endorsed to perform the examination and tests on member carriers have also come into question. Of course, the regulation exists for the safety of all on the road, but is being met with resistance. If you are involved in a crash with a fatigued commercial vehicle driver, it’s important to employ a competent commercial vehicle accident injury lawyer who is up to date with the current climate and regulations between carrier companies, drivers and the FMCSA.