Trucking companies in West Virginia and around the will have more time before they are required to comply with new regulations proposed by the Department of Transportation. In its monthly update, the DOT confirmed that two new rules it had proposed have been delayed. The proposed regulations concern speed limiters and a database for truckers who have failed or refused to take a drug or alcohol test.
Truck drivers in West Virginia have to follow numerous regulations, which are meant to help reduce the likelihood of their causing accidents. Truck accidents are especially dangerous to others because how much larger and heavier trucks are compared to passenger cars. This means that when a truck driver is involved in an accident, people are likelier to either be killed or seriously injured.
West Virginians are injured each year in accidents involving commercial vehicles, and these crashes are sometimes blamed on inexperienced or poorly trained drivers of those vehicles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is tasked with ensuring that those who drive semi-tractor trailers, buses or tankers are capable of safely handling the large and heavy vehicles at their command, and the safety agency has proposed a more thorough curriculum for those hoping to earn a commercial driver's license.
West Virginia residents may recall the June 2014 incident that seriously injured comedian Tracy Morgan and took the life of a man in the same limo bus that he was in. It has been reported that the man who had been driving the Wal-Mart truck that hit the vehicle occupied by Morgan has been charged with various crimes relating to the accident.
A rule issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in December 2015 is requiring commercial truckers in West Virginia and around the country to install an electronic device that monitors trucking hours. These monitoring devices must be put into use within two years after the rule goes into effect. A company that has already put a similar electronic device into use which does not meet the requirements of the new rule will be able to continue using it for four more years.
The federal government maintains a set of regulations to help ensure that car drivers and passengers in West Virginia and the rest of the nation are traveling alongside compliant and safe commercial truck drivers. The section of the regulatory code that pertains to correct construction, installation and upkeep of parts and accessories clearly outlines the government's expectations of truck drivers as well as their employers.
Because motorists in West Virginia and other states often share the road with trucks, the federal government publishes specific guidelines for safe truck operation. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truckers must maintain certain parts and accessories to operate safely, and the rules include explicit details on judging the suitability of different types of equipment.
All too often in West Virginia, people are injured when a cargo tank rolls over on the highway. Many such accidents are preventable, but they still occur. According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration statistics, more than 1,300 such rollover accidents occur every year across the country.
While tire technology has improved in numerous ways in recent decades, tire blowouts can still occur. In fact, it can be argued that their rarity only increases the hazards that a blown tire represents.
Imagine yourself driving down a highway. Immediately ahead of you is a large commercial truck. This truck is going more slowly than you would like to be going, but you are unsure of whether or not you should try to pass it because you cannot see properly around it. What do you do? Do you take a risk or do you drive slowly behind the truck until you can make absolutely sure that it is safe to pass the massive vehicle?