According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation, new federal trucking rules have recently come into effect in an attempt to reduce the number of fatigue-related truck accidents. The news is bound to be a positive step for anyone who is concerned about truck accidents in North Miami Beach and other Florida communities.
The new rules change hours-of-service requirements, reducing the total number of hours commercial truck drivers can work weekly. Under the old rules, commercial truck drivers could have worked up to 82 hours within each seven-day week. With the new rules, that total amount will be reduced to 70 hours per week.
The new rules also require truck drivers to take 30 minute breaks for every 8 hours in the truck. In addition, once truck drivers reach the total 70 hour maximum for the week, they must take a 34 hour break to “restart” their week before they can start another week. According to the FMCSA, truck drivers will only be allowed one restart rest period per weeks, so they cannot exceed the 70 hour workweek by simply “restarting” with a longer break more than once.
Safety experts predict that the rules will make the streets safer, especially since many truck and car accidents have been linked to fatigued driving. The changes will mean that truck drivers will have to take more breaks rather than driving more. For motor carriers, the rule changes can mean some new challenges. It may mean calling in standby help or making scheduling changes to accommodate the new regulations. For truck drivers, it may mean a smaller paycheck as hours are reduced and as motor carriers absorb the cost of hiring new drivers. Many motor carriers, however, have told the media that they agree with the changes.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, about 13% of commercial truck accidents each year involve driver fatigue. While the total number of truck accidents across the country has decreased in recent years, authorities agree that these types of changes are still needed to further reduce traffic collisions in North Miami Beach and other communities.
The new rules went into effect across the country on July 1. It may take months or years to fully see the effect of these changes on the number of truck and car accidents in North Miami Beach and other communities. However, many are pleased to see the changes and are encouraging authorities to pass additional rules to keep streets safer.
If you have been injured by a truck collision in North Miami Beach or another community, contact the Flaxman Law Group. The Flaxman Law Group is a full service law firm staffed with personal injury attorneys who will stand by you. Call today for a free consultation to discuss your situation and your case. Depending on the specific details of your situation, you may qualify for compensation that can help you pay for the high costs associated with truck accidents. Before you make any decisions, get the facts. Contact the Flaxman Law Group for your free case review.