Truck accident reduction targeted by government
Texas drivers witness the dangers of sharing the roads with large trucks every day. From minor fender benders to serious, life-changing or even life-ending crashes can happen in the blink of an eye. Semi-truck crashes, tractor-trailer accidents or wrecks involving any other type of large commercial vehicle can leave victims with long-lasting consequences.
In light of the impact that driver fatigue has on truckers, the federal government has recently enacted new laws that change the allowed working hours for truckers. The purpose is to limit instances of fatigue in an effort to reduce accidents and the resulting injuries and wrongful deaths .
The picture in Williamson County
According to information compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, deaths that occurred from accidents with large trucks comprised more than 18 percent of all motor vehicle deaths countywide in 2011. Four out of 22 people lost their lives in such accidents on local roads that year. That number should make all Williamson County residents take note.
To further understand the grave nature of the situation, the National Truck Accident Lawyers report that fatalities result from such wrecks in 98 percent of cases. Truck driver fatigue is a noted factor affecting these accidents.
How the government is helping
Effective in the summer of 2013, truck drivers have new limits on the number of hours that they can legally work each week. The specifics of the laws include:
- A full work week will now consist of a maximum of 70 hours instead of the previous 82 hours.
- A full work day cannot exceed a total of 14 hours.
- Driving time each day cannot exceed a total of 11 hours.
- Each eight hour period that is worked must also include a half-hour break.
- Every driver is required to take one 34-hour extended break each week and ensure that it includes a 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. span over two different days.
It is easy to see from these rules that the focus of the FMCSA is to prevent fatigued drivers from being behind the wheel of large trucks.
The agency has stated that it expects 1,400 accidents and 560 individual injuries to be avoided by the implementation of these rules. Additionally, they believe that 19 people’s lives can be saved.
What you can do if involved in a truck accident
The importance of securing proper legal assistance when involved in a truck accident cannot be stressed enough. Making sure that you have someone on your side to interface with insurance companies and large trucking companies is your best way to getting the protection you deserve.