In 2018 new rules took effect that apply to all bus operators who drive vehicles designed to transport more than sixteen not-for-profit passengers, like school or church groups, and transport nine for-profit passengers, like intercity buses and tour buses. The new rules control the hours of service and mandatory rest periods. These rules were initiated because of the high number of accidents.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) suggests truck and bus drivers adhere to the following 9 safety tips to stay safe while driving:
- Drive Defensively – Commercial drivers should be vigilant and detect unexpected road conditions, distracted drivers, and motorists who do not understand how commercial vehicles operate. Scan 15 seconds (a quarter mile on interstates or one to two blocks in cities) for traffic issues, work zones, and other dangers. Check mirrors every 8-10 seconds for vehicles entering blind spots.
- Signal for Safety – Other drivers need plenty of time to react to a driver’s intent. Use flashers, reflective triangles, and road flares to alert approaching traffic.
- Drive for the Weather Conditions – Risks of spills, rollovers, or crashes occur when drivers are driving too fast for weather or road conditions or when failing to slow down for curves or ramps.
- Maintain the Vehicle – Complete pre-trip safety inspections. This includes checking tires and brakes. Loads should be well-balanced and secure, as a shifting load could cause a rollover or loss of control.
- Buckle Up – Use safety belts at all times. They save lives and reduce injuries.
- Get Enough Rest – Do not drive when you are fatigued, feeling sick, or on medications that cause drowsiness or dizziness (including over-the-counter drugs).
- Plan the Trip – Be up to date on driving conditions, including weather, detours, and road conditions. FMCSA says, “Be aware that non-commercial navigation systems and apps may not provide warning of height and weight limitations and other commercial vehicle restrictions.”
- Know How to Navigate Work Zones – There are many hazards around work zones. These hazards include lane shifts, sudden stops, uneven road surfaces, moving workers and equipment, and confused passenger vehicle drivers. Slow down, maintain extra following space, and be prepared to stop. Obey all work zone signs and signals. Watch for road workers and flag people.
- Do Not Drive Distracted – Texting while driving is one of the worst driving distractions. Drivers who are texting while driving take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. When traveling at 55 mph, this equates to traveling more than the length of a football field without looking at the road ahead. Anything that takes the eyes off the road is a distraction, including map reading and eating or drinking.
“Our experienced legal team is always ready to assist you when you or a loved one has been injured. We are available 24/7, and there are no costs or attorney fees until we receive a monetary recovery for you. All of our clients have unique personal injury cases, and we provide personal contact and communication along with aggressive representation,” said Fort Myers Truck Accident Attorney Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.
Fort Myers Truck Accident Attorney Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one percent (1%) of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll-free at 1.888.477.4839,or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County at 239.793.7748.