Truck accidents are violent events that put innocent drivers’ lives as risk. Due to the massive size of commercial trucks and semi tractor-trailers, the federal government has placed regulations on how long truck drivers may operate their rigs before they must stop and rest. These regulations are designed to protect New Orleans residents and other people throughout the country from the dangerous problem of truck driver fatigue.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the federal entity responsible for enforcing the truck driver fatigue rules. Just two years ago, the FMCSA reduced the number of hours that truck drivers may operate in a week to 70 from 82. Drivers can only drive up to 70 hours if they have a 34 consecutive hour rest period in which they have stipulate stretches of real sleep during certain nighttime hours. It also requires drivers to take a 30 minute driving break during the first eight hours that they drive during a shift.
A tired truck driver can cause his rig to swerve, sway, and make other unpredictable maneuvers on roads and highways. The mentioned regulations, which must be recorded in each individual driver’s trucking log, are designed to protect truck drivers and those who operate near them from the sometimes uncontrollable movements of big rigs and semis. The FMCSA anticipates that the mentioned regulations will save 19 lives every year.
Fatigue can impact any driver. However, when it affects a truck driver, the consequences can be devastating. Large trucks can jack-knife, roll over, and collide with other vehicles at high velocities and cause serious injuries and deaths. People who have survived truck accidents know how hard the recovery can be. For those still sorting out the details of a recent truck accident, legal help may provide the needed guidance a victim requires to initiate his personal injury claims against a fatigued truck driver and his trucking company.