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Trucking Regulations Enforced to Prevent Fatigued Drivers, Collisions

Posted on in Truck Accidents

truck driver fatigueTruck drivers have specific rules designed to prevent accidents and ensure safety for everyone on the road. Commercial truck drivers are allowed a maximum of 14 consecutive hours drive time with an allowance of 70 hours a work week on average. They are required to abide by the rules set forth or face penalty.

Both drivers and their trucking companies can be cited and fined a maximum $11,000 per offense. Drivers can face a separate $2,750 civil penalty.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) implemented new federal regulations with the goal of reducing truck driver fatigue. The FMSCA estimated that these regulations would prevent 1,400 crashes and hundred of injuries a year.

In addition to the drive time limitations, the regulations include:

  • a 30-minute shift break during the first eight hours;
  • allowing drivers to resume on the road after they have reached the maximum 70 hours in a week, contingent upon if they rest for 34 consecutive hours; and
  • limitations on daily driving to 11 hours.

A highly publicized case occurred earlier this year when a notable actor was involved and injured in an accident with a tractor-trailer. At the time, the New York Daily News reported that the truck driver was more than 20 miles over the speed limit. A criminal complaint was filed against the driver for going longer than 24 hours without sleep, even though his logged time showed 13 hours and 32 minutes. This specific case resulted in a fatality.

The damage, injuries, and distress a collision causes can last days or possibly weeks from its origin. When traffic regulations are not followed, results can be tragic. If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident in Illinois, contact a Chicago motor vehicle accident attorney today.

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