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All Press Releases for December 06, 2013 »
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Floridians look to new laws to increase safety on the road

The size and weight of commercial trucks can increase the severity of injuries or other outcomes of such collisions.
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    December 06, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Floridians enjoy many wonderful things in their state, including beautiful weather and warm temperatures year-round. The lack of severe winter weather or icy driving conditions, however, does not preclude dangers on the road or prevent all accidents. Whether caused by intoxicated drivers, distracted drivers, reckless drivers and more, auto accidents can and do happen every day.

The prevalence of large truck accidents is also of concern throughout the state. The size and weight of commercial trucks can increase the severity of injuries or other outcomes of such collisions in 2011, approximately 3.7 percent of all vehicular fatalities in Miami-Dade County were due to accidents involving large trucks according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association is well aware of such dangers and earlier this year implemented new laws and guidelines designed to tackle head on such risks.

Reasons for the new legislation

Driver fatigue is known to be a problem in the commercial trucking industry, with many drivers spending extremely long hours driving, often on dark and lonely roads. While there are many factors that cause truck accidents, this is one such factor that the FMCSA was able to successfully target at this time.

The targeted estimations of the agency are that the new laws will result in 1,400 fewer large truck accidents, 560 fewer personal injuries and 19 fewer fatalities if properly adhered to.

Where do most truck accidents happen?

A trucking accident can happen anywhere and at any time. Information released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for the year 2011 shows that freeways and interstates were the locations of 31 percent of all truck accidents nationwide and minor roads saw nine percent of such crashes.

Interestingly, the lion's share--59 percent--occurred on all other major road types. Given this data, it is clear that the risk of a wreck with a large truck abounds and drivers must always be aware.

Working hours revised for truckers

The number of hours and duration of rest period are the main changes in working laws for truckers. An overview of the new guidelines includes:
- Truckers can work up to 70 hours per week maximum.
- A one-half hour break must be taken for every eight hours of work.
- No more than 11 hours of drive time can be worked per day.
- No more than 14 hours total can be worked per day.
- Every work week must include a 34-hour break. This break must include two periods of time from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.

Before these laws went into effect, truckers could work up to 82 hours in a week. Fines can be levied against individual drivers, truck owners or trucking companies if the laws are found to be violated.

Options for victims

Anyone involved in an accident with a large truck should consult with an experienced attorney. There can be many nuances in such accidents and the ability to have a professional guide you through the process is always helpful.

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