San Antonio Legal Blog

Fatigued trucking can lead to serious crashes

Truckers do a major service to this country, but they must ensure that they're being safe while they're doing it. One thing that they need to be careful about is driving when they become fatigued. In most cases, truckers are subjected to the Hours of Service regulations, which limit them to being able to drive no more than 11 hours total before taking at least 10 hours off to rest. There are times when these regulations are relaxed, so truckers might choose to drive more.

Because fatigued trucking is a serious problem, truckers should make sure that they're doing everything they can to avoid driving when they're too drowsy to do so. This doesn't only have to do with getting enough sleep. They also have to be aware of other causes of drowsy driving.

Construction site fatalities commonly caused by these 4 issues

Construction workers have to be very careful as they do their job duties. It is imperative that they understand some of the bigger risks that they face, so they can try to avoid them. Their employers should do the same, so they can develop safety protocol for each site.

There are four hazards that are more dangerous than any others that these companies and workers must be aware of. Getting a handle on these can prevent many construction worker deaths, as well as some injuries.

Daylight saving time leads to more accidents, injuries

Drivers in Texas and across the United States may feel a little groggy when spring daylight saving time begins as clocks spring forward. The sleepiness that many commuters feel as they head to work can lead to danger on the road.

Researchers from the University of Colorado, Boulder found that car accidents increase in the week after daylight saving time begins. Fatal accidents increase by 6% during this week, leading to an additional 28 deaths per year across the country. Additionally, researchers found that the farther west an individual lives in his or her time zone, the greater the likelihood of them being involved in a fatal accident.

What happens if you suffer an amputation in the oil fields?

Just about anywhere in Texas you travel, oil rigs, drilling rigs and other signs of oil production dot the landscape. It always appears as though they work themselves, but the truth is that numerous individuals in the state spend long hours keeping those machines producing.

If you have worked in this industry for any length of time, you know that working in the Texas oil fields can be a lucrative career, but an incredibly dangerous one. You could suffer a variety of injuries at any time with one of the most serious being a traumatic amputation. If this happens to you, what do you have to look forward to in the aftermath of your work-related accident?

Bill may open up interstate travel to truckers under 21

Truck drivers in Texas probably know how the state only allows them to travel interstate if they are 21 or older. A bipartisan bill introduced in February 2019 and called the DRIVE-Safe Act may alter this. It proposes to let truckers aged 18 to 20 travel interstate after a probationary period where they complete 400 driving hours. At least 240 of those hours are to be accompanied with another CDL holder who is 21 or older.

In February 2020, the U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Transportation and Safety held a hearing about this bill and other trucking-related matters like hours-of-service regulations and the use of speed limiters. There was opposition to the bill from safety groups like the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the Truck Safety Coalition.

Research supports starting school later in the morning

Research has found that teenagers in Texas and throughout the United States go through bodily changes that make it more beneficial to wake up later in the day. It has also found that those between the ages of 13 and 18 need at least eight hours of sleep at night to function properly. Students who are not allowed to get enough quality rest could be more likely to make poor decisions while driving to school.

In 2015, schools in Fairfax County moved the start of the school day from 7:20 a.m. to 8:10 a.m. A study found that the accident rate among drivers between the ages of 16 and 18 dropped from 31.63 to 29.59 accidents per 1,000 drivers after the change was made. The start of the school day remained the same throughout the rest of Virginia where researchers noted that the accident rate remained steady among drivers between the ages of 16 and 18.

CMV drivers can avoid drowsiness with these 6 tips

Drowsiness and driving a commercial motor vehicle, especially a big rig, do not go well together. However, truckers in Texas and across the U.S. have the ability to avoid drowsiness behind the wheel. The following six tips can help prevent major fatigue.

The first step is to ensure adequate sleep. A second tip is connected to this -- maintain a healthy, regular diet. Going to bed immediately after a heavy meal or, conversely, with an empty stomach will not make one well-rested. One can eat a light snack before bed to achieve better sleep. Once back on the road, drivers should try not to work during the "lulls" in the day. For example, the body is naturally more tired between midnight and 6 a.m.

New report shows importance of supervisors in construction safety

Construction workers in Texas may or may not be heavily involved in the crafting of safety plans and guidelines around the job site, but a report from Dodge Data & Analytics has found that more contractors are attempting this. Contractors are also increasingly relying on supervisors to boost safety.

The report discovered what contractors believe to be the top factors in a good safety program. Four of them involved job site workers and/or supervisors with greater involvement for the former coming out at top, mentioned by 84%. Second came the need for leadership skills in supervisors at 83%, followed by regular safety meetings between workers and supervisors at 82% and continual access to safety training at 77%.

How big is the threat of fire at your workplace?

Regardless of whether you work in the oil and gas business or another industrial workplace in San Antonio or other area in Texas, exposure to explosive and flammable materials will be one of the primary safety hazards. According to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, your employer is responsible for your health and safety on the job. However, if you prefer to play a role in your own welfare, you can learn how to deal with fire-related risks.

Fire prevention starts with an evaluation of the workplace and an assessment to identify potential fire hazards. The next step is to analyze the work areas to determine positions for placing fire extinguishers, machinery to monitor air quality, and other fire safety equipment. A thorough assessment can also identify the safest storage area for flammable liquids.

Why truckers must have sleep apnea treated

Drivers in Texas have good reason to fear being around truckers because a significant number of them suffer from sleep apnea. Though this sleep disorder affects only 4% of the general population, it's estimated that 35% of truckers have it. Obstructive sleep apnea, the most widespread among truckers, can have an especially negative impact on behavior.

OSA causes periodic blocks in the upper airway, stopping one's breathing for 5 to 10 seconds at a time and interrupting sleep. Those with OSA do not achieve much deep sleep or REM sleep, which are necessary for repairing the previous day's physical and mental fatigue. For this reason, individuals experience drowsiness during the day no matter how long they sleep.

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