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Truck drivers and commutes to be studied by FMCSA

Commercial truck drivers in Kentucky and elsewhere around the country will soon be asked to participate in a survey regarding their commuting time in their personal vehicles. The survey, which is to be conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, is intended to determine how often truckers' journeys to their jobs take longer than two and a half hours. The agency also stated that after the survey has been completed, it plans to examine how safety and driver fatigue are affected by excessive commuting.

The agency has submitted a request to the Office of Management and Budget with the White House to implement the survey. If the OMB grants approval for the survey, the FMCSA will publish a notice asking for volunteers for the survey.

The FMCSA's goal is to have a minimum of 500 drivers take part with the respondents equally divided between bus and truck drivers. The questions the drivers will be asked will pertain to commuting times, work history, breaks and rest periods, modes of transportation, driving schedules, demographic data and the number of miles driven each year.

In the request the FMCSA submitted to the OMB to gain permission to initiate the survey, the agency stated that long commutes can negatively impact safety in multiple ways. They can lessen the amount of off-duty time drivers have and cause them to be extremely fatigued while on the job. The health of the drivers is also negatively impacted by long commutes.

Individuals who are injured in commercial vehicle accidents caused by truck driver fatigue may be legally entitled to financial compensation. A personal injury attorney may examine the factors surrounding an accident involving a commercial vehicle and pursue financial damages against multiple parties, include the driver and his or her employer.

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