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Authorities Consider Ways to Address Truck Driver Fatigue

Citing statistics that show a gradual increase in fatigue-related truck accidents, officials at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are considering revisions to the regulations governing how much time drivers may spend on the road, both continuously and over a given period of time. With more than 5,000 deaths annually from truck-related accidents, and with an estimated one-third of truck accident fatalities tied to driver fatigue, the NHTSA is examining new regulations to minimize the risk.

Currently, a driver may not be on the road more than 10 hours consecutively, and must take an eight hour break once they reach that threshold. However, there’s nothing to prohibit a driver from driving for 10 hours, taking an eight hour break, then driving another six hours—16 hours over a 24-hour-period. Furthermore, drivers are limited to 60 hours per week and must take at least two nights off if they hit this target.

Under proposed revisions, based on a 24 hour clock, drivers would have to take 9-12 hours off in a given 24 hour period. In addition, they would be required to be off the road for regular breaks—up to three hours per day.

One of the proposals would also require that commercial truck drivers install an electric on-board recorder (EOBR), a tamper-proof device that would keep a log of actual driving time.

Critics of the proposed revisions have expressed concerns that they would actually increase risk of injury. The new regulations would allow drivers to be on the road for 12 consecutive hours, and would only mandate that drivers take 32 hours off after meeting weekly thresholds.

Contact the New Jersey Truck Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr

At the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr, we have fought for the rights of personal injury victims in central New Jersey for more than three decades. We carefully choose the cases we handle, so that we can provide the highest levels of service and personal attention to each client. We are also happy to take over your case, if your first lawyer does not seem to have your best interests in mind.

To set us a free initial consultation, send us an e-mail or call our office at 732-537-8570.

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