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New federal regulation aims to decrease truck accidents

It is not surprising that accidents involving trucks have devastating consequences in Alabama, including death. When a small passenger vehicle is pitted against a 40 ton mass of metal, it is difficult to imagine circumstances under which the driver of the passenger vehicle would escape unscathed, particularly if the truck driver loses control of the truck due to a medical emergency.

There are some federal regulations surrounding operating a commercial vehicle. A very significant regulation is the number of hours a driver is allowed to travel without rest. When a truck driver seriously injures another driver, it is a serious sign of negligence if the truck driver did not adhere to these federal rest regulations. Another regulation set to take effect in May 2014 is that truck drivers in Alabama and elsewhere across the country will be required to undergo certified medical examinations.

While truck drivers are currently required to have a medical examination every two years, they are much more lax compared to what will be expected of the examination and subsequent medical approval for operation of a commercial vehicle. Beginning in May 2014, physicians will need to be specifically certified through a successful completion of a training program for evaluating commercial vehicle operators.

Sleep issues, diabetes, vision issues, high blood pressure and other conditions can lead to absolutely fatal results for both the truck driver and other innocent lives on the roads in Alabama if left unchecked. This regulation will help keep more individuals safe and help Alabama drivers feel comfortable knowing that the truck driver inching up behind them in that 40 ton truck is less likely to be seconds away from a heart attack.

Source: Red Wing Republican Eagle, "New regulations will require bus, truck drivers to get certified exams," Sarah Gorvin, Nov. 16, 2012

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