In an effort to reduce the number of serious truck accidents that occur each year due to fatigued driving, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enacted new Hours-of-Service rules for truck drivers in July 2013. The new rule reduced the number of hours a trucker may spend on the road in a single week from 82 hours to 70, with a mandatory 34 hours of rest before beginning a new workweek.
Driving while drowsy is a great risk for any driver, but when an individual is operating a semi-truck that can easily weigh 80,000 pounds, the potential for causing catastrophic or fatal damage is all the more real. According to National Transportation Safety Board, nearly half of all fatal truck accidents are the result of a fatigued truck driver.
Unfortunately, in an industry in which truckers earn more money the quicker a delivery is completed, forcing drivers to spend less time on the road, especially between the low-traffic hours of 1am and 5am, is not a welcomed change.
Nearly a year has passed since the new rule was enacted, and truckers are still fighting to defeat the rule.
The Senate Appropriations Committee recently approved an amendment that would freeze the latest Hours-of-Service rules, citing decreased productivity in the truck industry and increased traffic congestion nationwide.
Supporters of the current rules argue that the unintended consequences of the restricted work hours do not outweigh the dangers of drowsy driving, and therefore, should not be reversed.
The NY truck accident lawyers at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP will continue to follow this story. Our team has years of experience helping individuals and families that have been seriously injured or worse due to truck driver fatigue. If you or someone you love has been involved in a truck accident, you may be eligible for significant compensation for the medical bills, hospitalization, and other damages you may have suffered. Call (212) 986-7353 for a free, comprehensive case evaluation or contact us online.