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New Trucker Rest Regulations Defended by Safety Chief

Congress’s 2014 decision to mandate hours of rest for truck drivers was an unpopular one in the industry. Though the new system ensures a method to root out dangerous practices, critics have asked regulators to loosen up their rules and come up with a less strict system. The chief of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Scott Darling, recently defended the regulations at a Congressional hearing about fatigued truck drivers.

The new regulations have closed a loophole once used by the trucking industry to enable drivers to work 82 hour weeks, a dangerous and even deadly amount of hours to be behind the wheel. Insurancejournal.com reports that nearly 4,000 people were killed in accidents involving trucks in 2013. 24% of fatal crashes involve moderate to severe drowsiness. Those who sleep six to seven hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in an accident than those who get eight or more hours of sleep. These figures led the National Transportation Safety Board to recommend more nighttime breaks for truck drivers.

Trucking industry leaders claim that these nighttime breaks force thousands of trucks on the roads during the day, leading to heavier traffic in general. While this indeed may or may not have an impact on traffic flow, at least day time drivers would be safe in the knowledge that the trucker sitting behind them in traffic is awake and alert. Even if drowsy drivers don’t fall asleep behind the wheel, they tend to pay less attention to the road and have slower reaction times

Injured in a Tractor-Trailer Accident?

Attorney Richard Serpe specializes in accident and injury cases involving commercial vehicle accidents, automobile negligence, wrongful death, traumatic brain injury, and products liability cases. Richard Serpe understands the critical importance of immediate investigation to determine the cause of trucking accidents. A tractor-trailer, and other trucks, present special circumstances which many lack the expertise to understand. If you’d like to discuss your case with Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer Richard Serpe, call toll-free 877-544-5323