New Hours of Service Rule: Can It Decrease the Number of Atlanta Truck Accidents?

Nearly one year ago, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed new limits on Hours of Service for commercial drivers. The Hours of Service are the legal amount of time drivers, including semi-truck drivers and bus drivers, can spend consecutively behind the wheel.

The FMCSA believes that the new limits will improve highway safety by reducing trucker fatigue by forcing truck drivers to take mandatory rest breaks between shifts and may result in fewer Atlanta semi-truck accidents. However, trucking advocacy groups have resisted the changes, saying they would have little to no effect on highway safety.

If accepted, the new regulations will apply to all interstate commercial vehicles that weigh over 10,000 pounds, have a gross vehicle weight of at least 10,001 pounds, or are used to transport hazardous chemicals.

Under the new Hours of Service rules, any truck driver transporting property will be restricted to:

  • 11 maximum hours of consecutive driving
  • A mandatory break no less than 10 hours between shifts
  • 14-hour on-duty limit, after which the trucker must be released from duty
  • 60/70 hour driving limit in 7/8 consecutive days

As trusted Atlanta truck accident attorneys, we know that federal regulations may not apply to intrastate truck drivers. For instance, trucks that travel only within Georgia state lines can choose not to adhere to federal trucking laws as long as they are following state laws. One thing is certain: if you were injured by a trucker violating his hours of service, he could be held liable for your Atlanta truck crash injury.

If someone you love has been injured in a Georgia semi crash, contact Shane Smith today at (980) 246-2656 to start your free consultation. You can also order a free copy of our book, 10 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Georgia Wreck Case.

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