Truck driver fatigue is one of the most common causes of commercial trucking accidents. In an effort to reduce instances of truck driver fatigue, federal hours-of–service regulations are in place to limit the amount of hours that a commercial truck driver can operate his or her vehicle and place mandatory rest requirements on truckers.
Last year, new federal hours-of-service regulations took effect to ensure that all truck drivers have adequate rest. Pursuant to the new federal regulations, trucking companies and truck drivers are required to comply with the following limitations:
- Maximum average work week for truck drivers is 70 hours.
- After the maximum 70 hours of driving per week is reached, truck drivers may resume driving only after they rest for 34 consecutive hours, including at least two nights from 1- 5 a.m.
- Mandatory 30-minute breaks during the first eight hours of a shift.
Just last month, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that it has proposed a new law that would require interstate commercial truck and bus companies to use Electronic Logging Devices in their vehicles in order to improve compliance with hours-of-service safety regulations.
The proposal is intended to “improve safety while helping businesses by cutting unnecessary paperwork,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a press release. “By leveraging innovative technology with Electronic Logging Devices, we have the opportunity to save lives and boost efficiency for both motor carriers and safety inspectors.”
The goal of the proposed rule is to reduce the number of hours-of-service violations by making it more difficult for drivers to misrepresent their time on logbooks and avoid detection by FMCSA and law enforcement personnel. According to the FMSCA, analysis shows that the proposed rule will also help reduce crashes by fatigued drivers and prevent approximately 20 fatalities and 434 injuries each year for an annual safety benefit of $394.8 million.
Earlier this year, the FMSCA also enacted a new rule that allows the agency to shut down a bus or truck company if the trucking company (or a company officer) has a history of purposely violating federal safety regulations, including hours-of-service regulations.
Contact an Trucking Accident Lawyer
At Cogan & Power, P.C., our unique legal team, which includes a nationally recognized member of the prestigious Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America, is committed to obtaining just compensation for trucking accident victims and their families. We take great pride in our record of successful verdicts and settlements, including a recent $13 million verdict in a trucking accident case, as well as the enduring relationships we have developed with our clients.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, contact the skilled Chicago trucking accident attorneys at Cogan & Power at (312) 477-2500 for a free consultation to discuss your legal rights.