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Safety regulations shown to reduce fatigue in truck drivers

On behalf of Terence Gross of Gross & Schuster, P.A. posted in Truck Accidents on Wednesday, March 5, 2014.

With all the semi-truck traffic on Florida highways, it is imperative to keep drivers of passenger vehicles safe. This notion is especially important given the increasing demands on truckers imposed by trucking companies, as well as the proliferation of mobile phones being used by truck drivers.

To promote safety, the federal government has imposed hours of service regulations that limit the number of hours a driver can be behind the wheel each day, and mandated that drivers take breaks during their workday as well.

As for work weeks, limitations were imposed as well. Drivers can only drive up to 70 hours in a seven to eight day duty cycle. In order to start a new duty cycle, a driver must be “off duty” for at least 34 hours, which must include at least two night periods, defined as rest between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.

A recent study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) showed that drivers who had at least two nighttime restart periods between trips were less likely to have attention lapses, better lane positioning and less fatigue while driving compared to drivers who had only one restart period at night.

The study, and the regulations that are geared to change driver behavior, are important when it comes to detailing fault in trucking accidents. When a driver, or a trucking company, fails to adhere to federal regulations, this can be viewed as a failure to use reasonable care while driving, which is required of all drivers in Florida.

Source: “New safety rules for truck drivers effectively reduce fatigue,” Feb. 3, 2014

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