Will the New Federal Trucking Regulations Prevent Truck Accidents?

A Nashville Injury Attorney Explains the Pros and Cons

Thousands of people suffer injuries and death every year due to terrible and avoidable truck accidents. In light of this, new truck driver regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) went into effect at the beginning of July. These regulations aim to reduce fatal truck accidents on American roads.

What Are the New Trucking Regulations?

The truck driver regulations outline new requirements for the working conditions of semi-truck drivers. These updated guidelines include:

  • A maximum average workweek of 70 hours
  • 34 consecutive hours of rest after completion of the workweek
  • At least one 30-minute break must be taken during the first eight hours of work.
  • The new regulations also reaffirm the 14-hour work day, which allows for a maximum of 11 driving hours.

Will the New Laws Achieve Results?

The FMSCA estimates that the new rules will save 19 lives and prevent thousands of crashes. The agency also argues that the additional rest will improve the health and lifespan of the nation’s truck drivers.

These new regulations were met with strong opposition by trucking companies, which claimed that the increased rest periods would result in higher operating costs. Some even warned that the nation would see dramatically increased prices for everything from gas to groceries.
While these regulations are intended to protect truck drivers, that does not always mean that drivers will use their legally-mandated rest periods. Even worse, some trucking companies may choose to force their drivers to stay on the road longer than they are legally allowed. Many deadly truck accidents are caused by flagrant disregard for trucking company regulations.

No amount of rest can compensate for a driver that is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Moreover, even a well-rested driver can cause a collision due to:

  • Wide turns
  • Jackknifing
  • Neglected maintenance
  • Improperly-loaded cargo
  • Lack of safety training or equipment
  • Reckless actions by other drivers

Even with these new safety regulations, it is the best interest of every driver to give semi-trucks as much room as possible on the road, and to use extra caution if they find it necessary to drive near these massive vehicles.

If You Are Hurt In a Semi-Truck Accident

You have rights if you were injured in a truck accident. We offer compassionate and experienced legal counsel to anyone who has been hurt by the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company. Contact our office today to schedule a free and confidential consultation with a Nashville injury lawyer.


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