Truck Drivers Not Getting Required Rest?

When an 18-wheeler is involved in a collision with a passenger vehicle, often serious injuries will result. Because of the difference in the size of the vehicles involved in trucking accidents, motorists on New Jersey's busy roads know to exercise extra care when traveling near tractor-trailers.

Due to the severity of consequences in many trucking accidents, truck drivers and trucking companies face several restrictions that are designed to improve motorist safety. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the agency designed to implement these rules, often does studies to determine if they have the proper limits in place.

Recently, there has been a great deal of discussion concerning the "Hours-of-Service" rules that are in effect for drivers of commercial vehicles. There have been some proposed changes of these rules that have left some drivers upset, because they feel they are too restrictive and require too much time off of the road.

However, the new rules are designed to ensure that safe and alert drivers are behind the wheel. Several states have random inspections to determine if drivers are getting the required amount of rest. Oregon recently conducted a week-long examination of truck drivers within the state and discovered that more than one-fourth of all drivers stopped were not following the hours-of-service rules.

The drivers that exceeded the time limits were ordered off of the road. Under the FMCSA rules, those drivers and companies could be facing additional penalties.

Officials know that tired drivers can lead to more truck accidents, which is why they take these issues seriously. The FMCSA is looking for additional ways of keeping track of a driver's hours behind the wheel to ensure that drivers are following these rules.

Source: StatesmanJournal.com "Commercial vehicles staying on the road too long" Emily Gillespie, July 18, 2012.

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