Hullverson Law Firm

New trucking regulations regarding breaks supported by study

There is no question that tractor trailers play an important role in today’s society. They transport goods used by individuals throughout the nation, including Saint Louis, Missouri, from one coast to another in a matter of several days. The transportation of those goods is dependent upon the drivers of those trucks. Because they spend so much time on the road, the actions those drivers take can greatly impact others on the road.

Likely at least in part to protect all on the road, the industry is highly regulated. Among other things these regulations address how much sleep the drivers must get. While there are many reasons any motor vehicle accident could occur, because of the hours they spend on the road, fatigue is one that impacts truck drivers.

A recent study illustrates the importance of truck drivers having longer break times for sleep. Conducted for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the study focused on 106 truck drivers who provided information on two duty cycles that took place between January and July 2013.

It determined that drivers who had two periods of rest, defined as from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., during the required 34 hour break before starting a new cycle, were less tired as compared to those who only had one period of rest during those 34 hours. In addition to a reduction of fatigue, the drivers also experienced better lane positioning and fewer attention lapses.

The two rest periods are a part of new regulations pertaining to truck drivers.

Even with better rested drivers truck accidents could still occur. When they do, the end result can be catastrophic and result in serious injuries or even death. Sometimes in these situations, personal injury lawsuits are filed by the injured parties. Any money recovered usually goes a long way toward covering medical expenses that arise.

Source: Huffington Post, “New Safety Rules For Truck Drivers Effectively Reduce Fatigue,” Feb. 3, 2014

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