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All Press Releases for December 06, 2013 »
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Truck driver fatigue target of new laws

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association recently enacted new regulations that are aimed to reduce fatigue in truck drivers.
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    December 06, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- San Francisco roads and freeways are among some of the busiest in the nation. The number of vehicles on the road is one factor that may influence accidents as well as distracted drivers, drunk drivers and more. Driver fatigue is another area of concern, especially for commercial truck drivers that spend long hours behind the wheel.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association recently enacted new laws that are aimed to reduce such fatigue in truck drivers and, subsequently, to reduce accidents and save lives. The legislation covers guidelines for the number of hours that can be worked and the duration and frequency of breaks.

Goals of the new laws

Based upon their information, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association has indicated that it believes they can prevent 19 deaths, 560 personal injuries and 1,400 large truck accidents with the new guidelines.

How big is the problem?

The prevalence and severity of accidents involving commercial trucks is of concern indeed. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics indicate that in 2011, more than 13 percent of all traffic fatalities in San Francisco County involved large trucks. Throughout the state of California, nearly 10 percent of all vehicular deaths were related to truck accidents in that year.

Accidents with trucks can and do happen everywhere. Statistics from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows that 59 percent of all auto fatalities in 2011 that involved large trucks occurred on major roads that were not freeways or interstates. Another 31 percent happened on freeways and interstate highways while nine percent took place on minor roadways.

Such information illustrates the importance of continued efforts to increase the safety on our roads.

New truck driver laws for working hours

Prior to the new regulations, truckers could log up to 82 hours of work per week but now are limited to a maximum of 70. Further details of the new laws include the requirement for:
- A minimum one-half hour break per eight-hours worked
- A maximum of 11 hours of drive time per day
- A maximum of 14 hours worked per day
- A minimum 34-hour rest period that includes two 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. periods per week

If these laws are found to be violated, the trucking company, truck owners and the individual truck drivers can be subject to extensive fines.

Options if you are injured

Despite best efforts, the chances for truck accidents to occur will always be there. If you are unfortunately involved in such a collision, you should contact an attorney who has the right experience to help you. Doing so is often the best way to ensure that your rights will be properly respected and protected.

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