Florida Trucking Lawyers Discuss the Relationship between Tired Truck Drivers and Rear-End Collisions
The insurance industry routinely tries to downplay the severity of rear impact collisions with references like "rear-ender," "fender bender" and "low impact collision." However, all pretense that a rear impact collision is minor goes out the window when the vehicle that slams into you is an 80,000 lb. tractor-trailer. Rear impact trucking accidents are among the most preventable type of collision involving these large dangerous vehicles.
If a truck driver focuses on the roadway and observes a safe following distance while traveling at an appropriate speed for the conditions, a well maintained truck should almost never slam into the rear of another vehicle. Unfortunately, truck drivers and commercial carriers can elect to take calculated risks associated with cutting costs and increasing profits. Our Miami truck accident lawyers find that the decisions of a commercial driver to disregard anti-fatigue driving regulations often with the tacit approval of a trucking company is one of the most common causes of a collision where a truck rear-ends another vehicle.
Changes in Hours of Service Rules to Prevent Semi-Truck Accidents
Because fatigue from excessive hours behind the wheel and lack of sleep can increase the risk of drowsy truck driver collisions, the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) revised their rules to address this issue. Hours of service (HOS) regulations govern the maximum length of driving shifts, the minimum duration of rest periods and other practices to reduce the risk of fatigue-related collisions. The substantial number of semi-truck crashes involving drowsy truck drivers between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. led the FMCSA to restrict the number of 34 hour restarts. The new regulations also provide that a truck driver may only get back behind the wheel if 8 hours or less have passed since the end of the driver's last off-duty or a sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes. There is talk of a new law which will ease the restrictions and allow tired drivers to drive. Everyone should contact their representative in Washington and voice your opinion that this law should remain.