West Virginia residents should know that although an additional four states voted during the November elections to legalize marijuana, the U.S. Department of Transportation will still prohibit use of the drug for truck drivers as long as it is classified as a Schedule I drug. According to the a representative of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, before the DOT can make any amendments to the regulations regarding drug testing for truckers, the changes would have to be initiated by the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy.
West Virginia truck drivers may want to know that the U.S. Court of Appeals has upheld a federal mandate that requires most truck operators to use electronic logging devices to keep track of hours of service status. The mandate will become effective on Dec. 18, 2017, and truckers who are currently required to use paper logs are required to transition to ELDs by that date. Exempt from the requirement are pre-model year 2000 trucks.
The annual International Roadcheck event sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance took place in June in West Virginia and around the country. The nonprofit organization reports that 62,796 inspections were conducted, 42,236 of which were the comprehensive North American Standard Level I inspections.
Some people are killed or seriously injured when their vehicles go underneath big trucks on West Virginia roadways. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is considering how to make commercial trucks safer so that cars do not skid underneath them during accidents.
The government sought public opinion on a proposal to regulate the screening and treatment of obstructive sleep apnea among railroad workers and truck drivers before moving ahead with the rule. Truck drivers in West Virginia probably will not be surprised that opinions were mixed.
Commercial vehicle drivers in West Virginia and throughout the country may be subject to stricter laws regarding speeds. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are proposing a rule that would decrease the speed that such vehicles could actually travel.
Working with law enforcement agencies in West Virginia and across the country, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will hold its safe driver week from Oct. 16 to 22. During that week, law enforcement agencies across the country will step up enforcement of traffic laws while also engaging in educational efforts about safe driving behaviors.
Truck accident lawsuits in West Virginia and around the country are often initiated by individuals who have suffered catastrophic injuries or by the surviving family members of deceased accident victims. While plaintiffs may be awarded considerable damages should they prevail in court, there is always an element of unpredictability with civil trials. The defendants in these cases may wish to settle matters quickly to avoid the publicity of a trial, and any offer they make is likely to include no fault or no admission of fault provision.
Accidents involving semi-tractor trailers are a common occurrence on West Virginia highways, and many of these crashes happen when truck drivers find themselves in an emergency situation and do not have enough time to weigh their options and take evasive action. Computers are able to process information and make decisions much more quickly than the human brain, and truck parts makers the ZF Group and WABCO Vehicle Control Systems unveiled an autonomous crash avoidance system for tractor-trailers on June 28 that they hope will save lives by preventing rear-end collisions.
A collision with a large truck on a West Virginia road can result in serious injuries that are sometimes fatal. The Federal Motor Carrier has released its report covering 2014 commercial vehicle crashes, and it shows that while fatal accidents were down from the previous year, the number of crashes that caused injuries that were not fatal increased.