Reduced driver fatigue and increased safety goal of new laws

New Orleans drivers understand the risks that are inherently involved when getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. Dangers from other drivers, road conditions, weather and more can all impact the ability of a person to remain safe on our roads. Fatigued drivers can be at an increased risk for accidents and this includes truck drivers. Many large truck accidents are caused by errors made by tired truckers.

The agency that oversees much trucking legislation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, recognizes the role of driver fatigue in collision statistics and developed new laws changing the working hours for truckers around the nation. The legislation went into effect in the summer of 2013.

The FMCSA has stated that it believes truck accident numbers can be lowered by 1,400 due to the changes. It also expects to prevent the death of 19 people and 560 accident-related injuries.

The new laws at a glance

The FMCSA outlined guidelines that pertain to the total number of hours to be worked as well as conditions for breaks. Highlights of the rules include the following:

  • A single work day cannot consist of more than 14 hours maximum.
  • The maximum number of hours that can be spent driving per day is 11.
  • A break of at least one-half hour must be taken every eight hours worked.
  • Every work week must include one long rest period of 34 or more hours that needs to span two separate time slots from one to five in the morning.
  • The maximum number of weekly hours that can be worked in any capacity has been cut from 82 to 70.

If these rules are found to be broken, drivers, truck owners and truck companies can all be at risk for penalties and fines.

Orleans Parish accident rates

Based upon 2011 data, Orleans Parish recorded three deaths from large truck accidents. Only Desoto, St. Tammary, Caddo and East Baton Rouge parishes saw more such fatalities in the state of Louisiana that year. The three lives lost represent more than nine percent of all motor vehicle fatalities in Orleans Parish in 2011.

Driver fatigue is identified by the National Truck Accident Lawyers as one of the primary causes of accidents involving commercial vehicles 30 percent of the time. The organization also reports that 98 percent of semi-truck crashes lead to fatal injuries for at least one person.

Your personal rights matter

Whether you are the driver or passenger of a vehicle that is involved in a collision with a large truck, you have the right to obtain compensation for any injury or loss that you sustain. Working with a competent and experience personal injury lawyer is always recommended to help you achieve this.