New laws target reduction in truck accidents and fatalities
Due to the size and weight of large commercial trucks, the severity of injury that a motorist can sustain is great.
October 11, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- New laws target reduction in truck accidents and fatalities
Article provided by Gilde Law Firm
Visit us at http://www.gildelawfirm.com
Truck driver fatigue is commonly known to be a problem for operators spending long hours on the road and behind the wheel. In an effort to reduce instances of accidents, personal injury and death caused by such fatigue, the federal government enacted new legislation that took effect July 1, 2013 and outlines new guidelines for truck drivers' work week shifts. The laws pertain to all truckers in Texas and throughout the country.
It is the estimation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that 1,400 accidents and 560 injuries can be prevented each year due to the new laws. Additionally, the organization believes the laws will save the lives of 19 people annually.
New guidelines for truck driver hours worked
Previously, truck drivers were allowed to work up to 82 hours in a work week. The new law reduces that amount to a total of 70 hours in a registered work week. Within that 70 hour period, a driver must show one period of 34 consecutive hours of off duty time. That rest period is also required to include two blocks of times from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.
For every eight hours worked, at least one 30-minute break is required. Truckers can work a maximum of 14 hours per day with no more than 11 of those hours being behind the wheel. Violations can result in fines to companies up to $11,000 and up to individual drivers up to $2,750.
The statistics tell the truth
State reporting shows that Harris County recorded the most number of traffic fatalities in 2011 among all Texas counties. Specific data includes:
-There were 3,016 motor vehicle deaths in Texas.
-Harris County had 364 of those deaths, more than another county in the state.
-There were 69 deaths in Texas from accidents involving large trucks.
-26 of those deaths occurred in Harris County.
With more than 37 percent of the state's fatalities involving large truck accidents, Harris County residents should take note.
Data from the National Truck Accident Lawyers indicate that the vast majority--98 percent--of semi-truck accidents result in a fatality and that driver fatigue is a factor in 30 percent of collisions involving commercial vehicles.
Your rights matter
People involved in any accident involving a large truck or commercial vehicle should ensure that they have proper representation when facing a claim against not only an insurance company but a trucking or other company. Due to the size and weight of large commercial trucks, the severity of injury that a motorist can sustain is great. If you have been involved in such an accident, a consultation with an attorney experienced in such cases is recommended.
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