How the FMCSA Driver Volunteer Program Will Impact Your Business

How the FMCSA Driver Volunteer Program Will Impact Your Business

It is important to understand the impact that driving programs can have on the driver and the business when changes come into force from the government.  Your ability to drive and the information you need to provide often change. This can impact the driver’s ability to earn money, but there is a safety factor that must take high priority before any changes are implemented.

The driver volunteer program is looking for drivers to conduct trials for the ‘split sleep’ study, which has the potential to change the way drivers view their sleeping habits. It is important to see how this change can affect the ability to drive if the driver is impaired in any way.

The first study took place with 24 volunteers.  Now, the hope is to attract as many as 200 for the next phase of the research with the intention to complete in the fall and end around December 2015. It is focused on the trucking industry and not motor coaches at the current time because only a few coaches already use sleeper berths, beds made for trucks and other vehicles.  There weren’t enough to include them in the study.

There was also concern about how medication can affect the driver’s ability to perform the required task to a certain level.  The worry is the impact of so called Schedule II medications. A meeting took place last October between the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee and the Medical Review Board. They agreed to provide a health care questionnaire to look at the driver’s medication over a period and decide from that information whether it will affect the person’s ability to drive.  For now there will be no impact on certification until the results of the study.

The potential for change this year to come out of these studies is important to the growth and development of your business.  Understanding the angle the government is taking on certain issues can help to guide you in the right direction for the safety of your drivers and your business’s reputation.