This week, coverage of Hurricane Sandy dominated the news.  Here’s a look at what you may have missed this week at CDLLife.

News:

ATRI Is Asking For Feedback On 34-Hour Restart- 

The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today released a survey on the potential impacts of changes to the 34-hour restart rule. Under the new Hours-of-Service rules that are scheduled to take effect next year, changes to the 34-hour restart will include 1) a requirement that a restart include two periods between 1 a.m. – 5 a.m., and 2) a limitation of one restart per 7-day time period. This survey is part of a larger ATRI study quantifying real-world operational impacts on the trucking industry that may result from these revisions.

Motor carriers are encouraged to provide confidential input on the HOS changes through ATRI’s survey, available online at www.atri-online.org or by clicking here. The aggregated and anonymized results of the survey will be available later this year and ATRI’s full HOS study will be released in early 2013.

Study Ties Obesity To Crash Risk

Behavioral Economist and former truck driver Stephen Burks of the University of Minnesota, Morris, led a two-year study of new Schneider National drivers.  The researchers took 744 new driver’s height and weight and calculated the driver’s BMI.

For the next two years, the researchers kept track of the 744 drivers and took note of any accidents.

“That’s when the data stood up and shouted at us,” says Jon Anderson, a biostatistician also at the University of Minnesota, Morris, who co-authored the study. “We found really clear evidence that the highest-BMI drivers are at higher risk of having an accident.”

“During their first 2 years on the road, drivers with a BMI higher than 35 (“severely obese”) were 43% to 55%more likely to crash than were drivers with a normal BMI, the team reports in the November issue of Accident Analysis & PreventionDrivers who are overweight or obese, but not severely, did not appear to be at higher risk, and the study does not indicate why. The relationship held even when the researchers corrected for number of miles on the road, geographic location, age, and other crash risk factors,” the magazine reports.

GPS Unit Designed For Trucks Leads Driver Into Low Bridge

On Tuesday, a truck driver following his GPS instructed path slammed into the Gorham Street Spaghetti Bridge in Lowell, Massachusetts.

The incident happened just after noon and shut down traffic in the southbound lane for nearly an hour, the Lowell Sun reported.

This is the second truck, bridge incident in the last two months.

According to the Lowell Sun, the driver could be heard telling police that his GPS system directed him on the bridge’s path.  He also told the police that his GPS system is specially designed for trucks.

Woman Suing Texas Trucking Company For Gender Discrimination

On October 24, 2012, truck driver Kathleen Robledo filed a gender discrimination lawsuit with the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division against Central Refrigerated Service Inc., of Texas.

Robledo began working for Central Refrigerated Service Inc. in October of 2011.  While Robledo and her supervisor were on their way from Utah to driver training in Texas, an incident occurred.

“According to the lawsuit, her male supervisor allegedly showed Robledo a pornographic video on his computer while the truck was stopped at a truck stop in Texas. Robledo alerted the company headquarters in Utah of the events and she was abandoned at the truck stop. Central Refrigerated Service sent a female truck driver to pick up Robledo and bring her to its Utah office and back to Texas,” the Southeast Texas Record reported.

According to the Record, when Robledo arrived back at the company’s terminal, she was terminated.

Robledo and her attorney say Robledo was intentionally discriminated against and her civil liberties were violated.

Robledo is seeking front and back pay, all benefits, compensatory damages including emotional pain and suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, exemplary damages, attorney’s fees and court costs.

An attorney for Randy Matt Richardson filed a lawsuit on Oct. 23 in the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division against Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores Inc. for “liability and negligence for failing to inspect the premises to discover latent defects and to make safe any defects or give an adequate warning of defects, and for failing to warn of or correct the danger which was a violation of defendant’s duty and constituted negligence,” the Southeast Texas Record reported.

According to the claim, Richardson sustained an injury to his back, neck, spine and body when he tripped and fell over a a valve cover installed below the surface of the concrete parking lot when he was walking through the fuel island at the Mount Vernon Love’s location.

“The plaintiff is asking for an award of economic, non-economic, and compensatory damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, physical impairment, punitive damages, interest and court costs,” the Southeast Texas Record reported.

Entertainment and Videos:

Video: Driver Has To Make Sudden Stop For Stalled Traffic

Video: Truck Attempts Tight Turn

Unbridled Stupidity: Man Says Nay To Preparation

Hurricane Sandy Horse Head Man Jogger

Video: Guy Trying To Overtake Truck Feels The Squeeze

Video: Slippery Lot

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Truck Unveiled

Truck Driver Songs: Jason Aldean “Asphalt Cowboy”