Truck drivers face new hours of service rules

The administration is introducing recent safety regulations for truckers that will limit the average working hours of a truck driver from 82 hours downward 70 hours. This federal regulation stated that by lowering the hours-of-service, it will be instrumental to prevent accidents caused by truck drivers who are exhausted by long-hours behind the wheels.

According to a new federal rule, truck drivers will have to rest more than they did before since there is now a limitation to their number of working hours from 82 to 70. The changes will shorten workweek for truck drivers, as well as place limitations restrictions on the number of night’s truckers are allowed to be on the road as it specifies require rest breaks during the day. The admin officials of President Obama stated that these new regulations rules will decrease the number of crashes caused by truck drivers who are sleep-deprived.

According to the new regulation, truck drivers and trucking companies are stipulated to maintain daily logs of hours worked and rest breaks taken. Failures to do so will be fined up to the amount of $2,750 for truck drivers and around $11,000 for trucking firms. Government officials are confident that the new rules will save more lives and avert truck accidents due to exhausted drivers; however, truck companies and even drivers are complaining that reduced hours are making them lose money and income.

A significant issue when it comes to truck accident is driver fatigue as a sleepy driver is prone to lose control of a vehicle that leads to a crash. These new regulation is intended to prevent large truck accidents that caused catastrophic injuries or even deaths.

Even the hours-of-service logs by drivers play a significant factor in determining fault and liability in truck accident cases. The driver logs are relevant evidences in truck accident cases. By keeping track of these logs, the claim of drivers will be bolstered and get to the facts of the incident.

The new requirement issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is for drivers to be prompt and careful in filling out their logs which are routinely inspected. For companies that do not properly maintain these logs, they will be fined an amount of over $11,000. Individual drivers who are remiss will be fined about $2,750 per offense or violation.

Based on DOT records, from 2012, there were over 3,887 victims of truck crashes nationwide. The department also enumerated one study showing that about 13% of large truck crashes are due to drivers who lacked sleep. Although, some measures have at least reduced accidents for a decade but crashes due to lack of sleep and fatigue are still prevalent.

According to a study conducted by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, many drivers, especially the night drivers are taking less than six hours of sleep. They stated that the new rules will be able to save at least 19 lives, to prevent approximately 1,400 crashes and save 560 persons from injuries annually. In the subject of money, with fewer crashes and avoiding health problems caused by fatigue, the amount of $811 million will be saved yearly.

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