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Reduction in truck accidents sought with new laws

Throughout the commercial truck industry, fatigue among truck drivers is a known issue and concern. Long hours on the road can too easily lead to tiredness and ultimately to errors in judgment or reaction.
 
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    January 01, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Reduction in truck accidents sought with new laws

Article provided by Gross & Schuster, P.A.
Visit us at http://www.grossandschuster.com

Reduction in truck accidents sought with new laws

Any motor vehicle accident has the potential to result in severe injury or even death for those involved. The size, weight and speed of large trucks can often add to such potential, making the need to find ways to reduce the instance of truck accidents of high concern to all Florida drivers.

Data collected and reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that close to nine percent of all Escambia County auto fatalities in 2011 resulted from accidents that involved large trucks. Four out of 45 people lost their lives in such situations on our county's roads that year. Such a ratio is part of the reason that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association has chosen to tighten up the laws regarding truck driver working hours.

Safety is the primary focus

Throughout the commercial truck industry, fatigue among truck drivers is a known issue and concern. Long hours on the road can too easily lead to tiredness and ultimately to errors in judgment or reaction. The FMCSA initiated new working hour restrictions and conditions in the summer of 2013 that they expect will have dramatic results, including the prevention of 19 fatalities, 560 accident injuries and 1,400 vehicular accidents.

The risk is everywhere

A truck accident may occur anywhere, anytime. Statistics held by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for 2011 relate that 31 percent of all accidents involving trucks took place on interstates and freeways. Another nine percent of these accidents were reported on minor roadways.

The vast majority--59 percent--took place on major roadways. With this is mind, it is easy to see that the risk of being involved in a semi-truck accident or other large truck accident really exists on any road--major or local.

Limiting driver fatigue

The new laws aim directly at reducing instances of truck driver fatigue as a means to thereby reduce the number of truck accidents. Key elements of the changes include:
-The maximum work week can be no more than 70 hours.
-The daily maximum number of hours worked cannot exceed 14.
-The daily maximum number of hours driven cannot exceed 11.
-A weekly minimum break covering two 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. periods for at least 34 total consecutive hours must be taken.
-A standard break of 30 minutes or more shall be recorded when at least eight hours are worked.

Prior to this past summer, truckers could work up to 82 hours in an individual work week. Any driver or company found violating these new guidelines can be assessed steep fines.

Getting help when it is needed

Even the best laws cannot prevent every accident. If you are ever involved in an accident with a large commercial truck, working with an attorney who is focused solely on representing you is one of the most important things you can do.



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