Shorter hours imposed on truckers to prevent truck accidents

Drivers in the Tampa area know that there can be devastating consequences brought on by accidents involving large commercial trucks and smaller vehicles. The weight disparity between the vehicles can result in very severe collisions, ultimately leading to serious injuries and death to drivers and passengers of the smaller vehicles.

In addition to the truck’s size, truck driver fatigue plays a crucial role in truck accidents. Many studies have found that several commercial truck drivers reported falling asleep behind the wheel. Changes had to be made and new federal regulations are set to do just that.

Starting on July 1, 2013, truck drivers across the country will be facing new federal trucking regulations requiring them to drive fewer road hours and take more time to recoup while on the job. A trucker’s work week will be limited to 70 hours, down from 82.

There will be a 34-hour break every work week as well as 30-minute breaks in the first eight hours of a shift. The new regulations will only cover truck drivers and not buses despite calls to impose similar regulations after fatal crashes involving buses that have occurred recently.

Some truckers as well as trucking industry advocates feel that the new regulations are unnecessary, citing that they may hurt profits. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which oversees truck safety, believes that the new rules are necessary safety updates to existing ones that have been in effect now for 70 years.

In addition to the federal regulations, Florida has its own specific rules and regulations governing commercial trucks and vehicles.

Semi rigs, tractor-trailers and 18-wheelers, if operated by fatigued drivers, can be a hazard on Tampa’s roads. They can cause serious accidents, resulting in serious injuries and death to other motorists. These new regulations will be imposed in order to limit the dangers of trucks with the hope of decreasing road fatalities.

A victim of a truck accident due to negligence should consider consulting an experienced attorney for possible advice and assistance. Victims may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.

Source: Your News Now, “New safety rules to take effect for truck drivers,” Geoff Bennett, June 19, 2013

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