Truck driver fatigue still a major problem on U.S. highways
Any time there is a major trucking accident on one of our nation’s roadways, people want to know what went wrong. They want to know if they are being placed at risk due to the aggressive driving behaviors of truck drivers. Texas motorists may have even experienced a close call when they were out driving.
Major accidents usually mean that there will be changes to safety rules currently in place. Recently, a serious trucking accident in another state has led to renewed concerns regarding the issue of truck driver fatigue. The accident, which killed one person and seriously injured another, resulted after the driver was allegedly behind the wheel for 36 straight hours, far exceeding the amount of time permitted under the current regulations. The crash has led to officials expressing concern that the rules in place are not doing enough to protect motorists throughout the country.
In 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued new rules relating to the amount of time that truck drivers are allowed to spend behind the wheel. Drivers are only allowed to be on duty for 14 hours each day, with only 11 hours of actual driving time permitted. Drivers are also limited in the amount of time they are allowed to drive per week, and they must have two rest periods from 1 A.M. to 5 A.M. in order to reset their driving clocks.
These rules have proven to be very controversial within the trucking industry, leading to some concerns about the impact that it will have on actually reducing the amount of trucking accidents caused due to driver fatigue. However, the agency is being encouraged to be even tougher on the issue of fatigue, especially since there are believed to be drivers and companies out there that are failing to follow these rules.
Smaller companies are difficult for the FMCSA to inspect because of a lack of available resources. Those who repeatedly violate trucking regulations could be ordered out of service, but the agency needs to actually determine which companies are engaging in these unsafe behaviors.
These accidents often leave many victims struggling with very serious injuries that can require lengthy recovery times. The costs of this treatment can quickly add up, and you need to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney if you have been injured in a trucking accident in Texas.
Your attorney will be able to protect your claims against the aggressive actions of insurance companies, who may be continually trying to get you to settle your case for much less than it is worth. You may not understand the consequences of accepting their offer, which can lead to extremely serious problems should your condition worsen, requiring more medical care. Do not make any decisions until you are aware of all of the options that may be available to you to help you deal with the expenses connected to the crash.