September 10th, 2015
There are many contributing factors that can play a part in causing accidents involving commercial tractor-trailers, but one of the most preventable is drowsy driving. Our Roanoke truck accident lawyers at Skolrood Law Firm explain our nation has laws in place to combat this problem, but it seems as though the number of truck drivers choosing to ignore these regulations is on the rise.
Hours of service (HOS) regulations state truck drivers may not operate more than 70 hours on duty within an eight-day period. A driver may restart that eight day period only after taking 34 hours off duty with two periods between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. occurring during that time. Drivers are also limited to operating a truck for 11 hours only after taking a 10-hour break.
The number of drivers breaking these laws has been increasing steadily over the past several years. According to an article from Overdrive magazine, hours of service violations accounted for an average of 8.3 percent of all citations issued to truckers during 2012. The following year, that number increased to 9.3 percent. Last year, HOS citations made up an average of 10 percent of all trucking safety violations. This makes hours of service violations one of the leading reasons for truck safety violations in the U.S. today.
Our legal staff at Skolrood Law Firm understands the need for strict trucking industry regulations and is hopeful a solution can be found to the safety threat drowsy truck drivers can pose on the road.
March 26th, 2015
The Effects of Drowsy Driving In The Trucking Industry
Many contributing factors can come into play when determining the causes of tractor-trailer accidents, but one of the most preventable causes is driver fatigue. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports more than 20,000 people are injured and another 750 motorists are killed each year as the result of collisions involving fatigued drivers of commercial vehicles.
Hours of Service Requirements
To keep drowsy truck drivers off the road, trucking industry regulations — known as hours of service (HOS) requirements—were designed to govern the amount of time a driver can be on the road per week, but also the amount of time they must rest between work weeks. HOS requirements have undergone reform in recent years though, and now lawmakers may consider changing the rules once again.
Prior to July 1, 2013, drivers of commercial vehicles were only required to have one overnight rest period between the hours of 1-5 a.m. between each workweek. After that date, two overnight rest periods were required. The change was met with backlash from the trucking industry when drivers reported the new rules put them at greater risk of accidents.
Studying Which Rules Are Safest
Now, the U.S. Department of Transportation is conducting a study to determine the effectiveness of the new rules. An article from Land Line states researchers are examining crash data, fatigue, alertness, and health from a large sample of volunteer drivers. The drivers are divided into two groups—one operating under the new HOS requirements and the other operating under the old regulations. The data from each group will be compared to determine which was most effective.
Addressing truck accident causes with industry regulation is crucial to preventing serious injuries. That’s why the Roanoke truck accident lawyers at Skolrood Law Firm are hopeful this new study will help make America’s roadways safer.