New provision aimed at curbing trucker fatigue

According to the Department of Transportation, truck and bus accidents cause between 3,000 and 4,000 deaths every year in the U.S., and 13 percent of those are caused by trucker fatigue. Florida residents may be interested to learn about new legislation designed to reduce the number of truck accidents.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration would like to improve those statistics, so they are beginning to enforce a new set of rules on July 1, 2013. The new provisions are composed of three parts. The first requires drivers operating commercial vehicles to take a half-hour break during their first eight hours on the road. The second is a stipulation that drivers must have a “restart”, a 34 hour off-duty period each week, and must include two periods of rest between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. The restart is intended to let drivers catch up on sleep and rest. Lastly, the weekly driving time has been lowered by approximately 15 percent to 70 hours.

The new rules are in response to research about the role of trucker  fatigue in the ability to remain alert and how chronic fatigue undermines driver’s ability to operate safely. Some drivers are concerned about the effect of the new rules on their bottom line. Pressure from companies to make on-time deliveries push many drivers to take risks.

Individuals who have been injured in a truck accident may wish to collect compensation for their injuries. A Florida personal injury attorney may be able to assist injured individuals and their families. An attorney may be able to fight for fair compensation for the client who has been affected by a truck accident.

Source: NPR, “New Rules Put Brakes On Truck Drivers’ Schedules“, June 30, 2013

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