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FMCSA Withdraws Proposed Rule to Prevent Sleepy Truck Drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has spent over two years working on a proposed rule that would address the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea among truck drivers, which is a significant cause of preventable truck accidents each year. This proposed rule is in line with FMCSA’s mission, which is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities, involving large trucks and buses.

However, the Trump administration recently ordered the FMCSA to withdraw consideration of the proposed rule. The FMCSA, in withdrawing the proposed rule, stated that it believed the current safety programs and rules were sufficient to adequately address the issue. The agency simply recommended that drivers and their employees use the North American Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP), which is a voluntary, interactive web-based educational and training program that teaches drivers to be aware of fatigue-related issues.

Safety advocates are perplexed at the move, as the FMCSA already has extensive documentation of the dangers that trucks with obstructive sleep apnea pose to other drivers. Since nearly one in three truck drivers suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, and this medical condition affects their daytime alertness and performance, it is worrisome that the FMCSA has abandoned this proposed rule. More specifically, truckers with untreated sleep apnea have a much higher risk of involvement in fatigue-related motor vehicle crashes. When these truckers receive treatment, however, these risks decrease substantially.

Whether an accident occurs as a violation of the “move over” law or another type of traffic violation, you may have a personal injury claim if you are injured as a result. Personal injury claims are very complex, and you will need an experienced personal injury lawyer to guide you through the claims process as appropriate. Each type of claim has strict requirements and deadlines that a claimant must meet in order to maintain a successful claim. Boller & Vaughan are Wisconsin motor vehicle accident lawyers who dedicate their practice to protecting the interests of the injured and their families. Call our office today to set up your free consultation and learn what options are available to you.