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Uptrend of Nuclear Verdicts in the Trucking Industry

Written by Evidence Solutions Inc. (ESI)

TASA ID:

According to a report by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI), "Nuclear Verdicts" (defined as awards exceeding 10 million dollars) have been on a sharp rise over the last ten plus years. Not only have the number of these verdicts increased, the average award per case has also been skyrocketing. 

There are several hypotheses surrounding the reason behind this dramatic increase. Some have posited that the rise in medical costs necessitates these higher dollar awards, while others claim these increases have happened independent of other financial factors. The ATRI ranked this subject as one of its top research priorities back in 2019. They dove into the issue by looking at hundreds of cases from 2006 to 2019 within the newly created trucking litigation database. They looked at the growth of awards on average, and then did a statistical analysis in which they controlled for the other factors known to influence settlement size.

Which Five Factors Affects Driver Fatigue & Alertness The Least?

TASA ID: 9075

Here’s a quiz with just one question:  Which of the five factors affects driver fatigue (i.e., drowsiness) and alertness the least?  

A. Individual differences in susceptibility to drowsiness
B. Amount of prior sleep
C. Time-of-day
D. Prior continuous time awake
E. Prior continuous time driving

The Thunder Rolls and Flights Delay

Why Thunderstorms Affect Air Travel

TASA ID: 9740

Approaching the Topic

It is eleven o’clock in the evening as a regional jet makes its approach to the runway at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. The 65-seat jet is just one of many planes in sequence to land. Suddenly, a call is heard over the radio as a Boeing 747 cargo plane aborts its approach to land and climbs to safety. A shift in wind has prevented the large jet from landing and has forced its crew to circle back for another try.

Meanwhile, the regional jet is beginning to rock aggressively, as it enters that same area of turbulence and windshear (rapidly changing wind speed and/or direction), which extends all the way to the runway. The small craft is thrown about as the pilots are forced to turn off the autopilot and fly the plane by hand.
After several minutes, the plane lands, just as another small jet (further back in line) gives up and climbs away. Within minutes, the airport is overtaken by an approaching thunderstorm, with alarms sounding and staff quickly moving passengers into tornado shelters. Eventually, the all clear is given and activities resume.

While the night eventually ended without incident or injury, it stands as a reminder of the power of thunderstorms and the threat they pose to humans on the ground and in the air.


Demystifying Airline Pilot Pay

TASA ID: 9740

In a crowded plane, passengers look at their watches (and cell phones), as the scheduled departure time comes and goes. Finally, an announcement is made by the flight crew that the plane has a mechanical issue and will require 30 more minutes to be repaired. The passengers are frustrated, but they are not the only ones. The crew is also irritated – because they are not being paid for any part of this schedule disruption. While the flight attendants work hard to appease the passengers, the pilots are on the phone, in the books, and busy speaking with the maintenance crew about the issue – and they are doing it all for free! Sky-dive in as we discuss the strange and imperfect world of flight crew, and more specifically, pilot pay.

Commercial Transportation Hours of Service Rule:

The Effect on Driver Behavior

TASA ID: 6742

Abstract


In an effort to decrease accidents and unsafe practices and determine cause, this applied dissertation researched the impact of the Hours of Service rule implemented by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on commercial driver and commercial carrier behaviors. The Hours of Service rule served as a method to increase safety on highways by regulating and monitoring the driving hours of the commercial driver. This study attempted to discover whether this rule had an impact on driver behavior as well as commercial carrier behavior. 

This study was designed to answer questions directed toward safety, compliance, and effective ways to assert safety compliance including if the Hours of Service rules are effective in modifying behaviors associated with safety, whether the Hours of Service rules are effective in modifying behaviors associated with compliance, and if the Hours of Service rules an effective way to assert safety compliance within the commercial transportation industry.

To arrive at these conclusions, the researcher conducted a study that used surveys completed by commercial drivers and motor carrier representatives. It was determined that overall, most drivers agree that various methods of enforcement are necessary; they do not necessarily abide by them. The primary reason given was the loss of financial gain that adherence creates.  The study may benefit businesses, individuals, and communities that are involved in the transportation industry by adapting methods of enforcement that do not penalize a driver financially. The solution can be as simple as an increase in wages for the driver. 

This may not be of financial benefit to the motor carrier company in the form of immediate profit but serves as a profit in the form of avoidance of probable law suits initiated by persons affected in a motor carrier accident. It is also of profit to the motor carrier in reduced insurance premiums and equipment replacement.

 

To read more, download the article below. 


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