New federal regulations will reduce the maximum hours large truck drivers can spend at the wheel every week. This move may help save lives by keeping drowsy truck drivers off the road, but only if drivers and the companies that employ them comply with the new restrictions.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new rules took effect July 1. Some of the highlights include:
* Maximum average work week decreased to 70 hours, down from 82.
* Drivers are now required to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift.
* The current rules that limit large truck drivers to an 11-hour daily driving total and 14-hour work day stayed the same.
These rules aim to protect truckers and other drivers by reducing the risk of a drowsy truck driver having an accident. Habitually working long hours is highly associated with increased crash risks and chronic health conditions.
The FMCSA estimates new regulations could prevent about 1,400 crashes and injuries yearly.
The agency is responsible for enforcing the new rules. For trucking companies and passenger carriers that allow drivers to go over the limit by more than three hours, a fine of $11,000 per offense could be levied. For each offense, drivers could face civil fines of up to $2,750.
If you or a loved one was injured in an accident, the Houston truck accident lawyers at Ricardo N. Gonzalez & Associates can help. Call 713-429-1917 today for a free consultation.