According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were 33,808 people killed in truck accidents across the nation in 2009 alone. About 10% of these victims suffered fatal injuries while another 74,000 people suffered non-fatal injuries. However, the bad news for victims of Davie car accidents is that passengers of smaller vehicles suffered disproportionately. In only 15% of cases were the victims of fatalities occupants of large trucks – most were the occupants of passenger vehicles and smaller vehicles.
According to the FMSCA, the main factors leading to commercial truck accidents were speeding, failure to remain in the correct lane, and driver distraction. In about 2% of fatal large truck crashes in 2009 intoxication was a factor and in 3% of cases drivers had alcohol in their blood stream at the time of the accident.
In addition to these factors, driver fatigue also played a role in many large truck accidents. Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) enacted new rules to Hours of Service (HOS) in order to address this issue. The changes required fewer driving hours and more rest breaks for drivers of commercial trucks. However, the trucking industry disagrees with the new rules and is heading to court in order to seek a review of the changes.
The rules require truck drivers to rest for 34 hours before starting a new week of driving on the road. As well, under the changes, drivers must have two overnights between one am and 5 am during that rest period. Furthermore, the rules require truck drivers to take a 30 minute break after every eight hours on the road. The FMSCA has deemed that all drivers must comply with the new rules by 1 July 2013.
While the FMSCA and other experts believe that the rules will prevent driver fatigue and will prevent Davie truck accidents as well as truck accidents across the country, many truckers disagree. The American Trucking Association has filed a petition asking for a review to the rule changes. The petition, filed with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, may keep federal authorities from adopting the new rules. At the heart of the matter are two issues. First, whether the rule making process used to enact the new rules is allowed and second, whether the new rules will in fact help prevent accidents.
Truckers and other experts who oppose the rule changes argue that previous HOS rules were enough to help prevent Davie traffic accidents. They also note that the new rules create added costs for drivers and make it harder for drivers to make a fair wage. In addition, some experts claim that the new HOS rules could actually contribute to Davie truck accidents by requiring more trucks on the road and by making good drivers less interested in the trucking industry. Some experts also claim that the added costs of reduced hours may prompt some carriers into reducing costs elsewhere, rather than using money for better safety.
If you have been injured in a Davie truck accident, contact the Flaxman Law Group to arrange for a free consultation to discuss your case. Your initial costs nothing and comes with no obligation, so contact the Flaxman Law Group today.