Last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration made a significant step in helping to keep truck drivers and the driving public safe. By revising the hours-of-service (HOS) requirements for truck drivers and increasing rest periods, these stricter rules should help to decrease Georgia trucking accidents.
When the new regulations go into effect on July 1, 2013, commercial drivers will be required to take a 30-minute rest break within their first eight hours on-duty and have a daily limit of 11 driving hours. Also, at least once every seven days, truckers need to take 34 consecutives hours off.
These laws are being put into place to reduce deadly tractor-trailer accidents on U.S. roadways because truckers, who often drive drowsy, operate heavy vehicles at high speeds next to innocent motorists. However, some in the trucking industry believe these regulations will cause them losses in productivity that they will feel in their pocketbooks.
While reducing commercial operators’ driving times may help to reduce trucking accidents in Georgia and nationwide, many believe there are two other possible outcomes to these new restrictions:
- The new rules may cause truck drivers to speed to make up for lost time on the road. Truckers who speed are a danger to the driving public.
- The new regulations may cause experienced truckers to retire, resulting in an increase in novice truckers on the road. New truck drivers may lack the skills and experience needed to maneuver such a large vehicle safely.
While these laws were adopted to keep drivers safe, truck crashes could still occur because some truckers may disregard these rules and drive over the limit, some may speed to make up for lost time, and other collisions may occur due to lack of training and inexperience on the part of new truck drivers.
If you have been injured in a truck accident in Peachtree City, Roswell, Norcross, or elsewhere in Georgia, please call a qualified Peachtree accident attorney at the Law Offices of Shane Smith at (770) 487-8999 for a free legal consultation today to learn more. Also, be sure to request a free copy of our book 10 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Georgia Car Wreck Case.