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Monday, December 16, 2013

Hire An Attorney With An Extensive Knowledge Of Trucking Rules And Regulations

The income of commercial truck drivers is often based on making deliveries under incredibly tight deadlines, with risk of losing pay if the deadline is not met. This makes the trucking industry one of the most competitive commercial industries in the United States. Regrettably, this culture leads to deadly driving tactics, such as driving fatigued. It is estimated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that operator fatigue plays a role in more than 40% of all tractor trailer accidents on our roads.

In an effort to eliminate drivers operating 40 ton commercial trucks while fatigued, the FMCSA requires that logbooks be filled out documenting hours of rest and sleep. Yet, drivers still regularly falsify these books with aid of trucking companies in order that shipments reach their destinations as quickly as possible. This puts the lives of everyone on the road at risk in order to maximize their profits.

Trucking companies who pressure their drivers to operate big rigs while sleep deprived (or who condone their drivers’ use of falsified logbooks that misrepresent their hours of rest and sleep) must be held responsible for this reckless disregard of public safety.

In recognition of this major risk to the safety and welfare of the driving public, the FMCSA enacted new Hours of Service Rules on 2/27/12. Compliance with these rules became mandatory on 7/1/13. Several of these rules impose penalties and form the basis of civil liability.

FMCSA's new Hours of Service final rule:
  • Limits the maximum average work week for truck drivers to 70 hours (a decrease from the current maximum of 82 hours);
  • Allows truck drivers who reach the maximum 70 hours of driving within a week to resume if they rest for 34 consecutive hours, including at least two nights when their body clock demands sleep the most (from 1:00 to 5:00 a.m.);
  • Requires truck drivers to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift; and
  • Retains the current 11-hour daily driving limit and 14-hour work day.
The ongoing mayhem on our nation's highways will hopefully be reduced if the Department of Transportation can effectively enforce these new regulations that require necessary driver rest. We need to realize, however, that a lack of enforcement will only encourage large trucking companies to continue their reckless practices that favor profits over people.

Due to the catastrophic injuries and fatalities associated with large truck crashes, it is crucial that an attorney with an extensive knowledge of trucking rules and regulations is employed after a collision. Contact the Missouri Truck Accident Attorneys of The Glassman Law Firm at 314-446-6000 or at GlassmanLegal.com to ensure that your rights are protected.