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07/08

Battle Over Limit on Truck Drivers’ Hours Coming to a Head

Posted by: Jack Bernstein

trucking_accident_lawyersAnyone who has spent any time driving in Nevada, particularly on the highways outside of the cities, understands that large trucks are a regular if not a constant sight on the roads.  Given the shipping destinations in Nevada, California and Arizona among other places, millions of hours are spent behind the wheel every year by truckers who are coming to Nevada, leaving Nevada or just passing through on their way to another drop-off site.  In short, Nevada is a place that is familiar to a lot of truckers.

That’s why if you hear some grumbling by these long-haul drivers over the next few days or weeks, you should probably be aware of what’s happening.  The federal government is in the process of changing the limits for the number of hours that truckers can be on the road in a given week, and that change is not sitting well with many of the people who work in the industry.  However, safety advocates are supporting these changes because they believe that the number of big rig crashes around the country needs to come down.

Specifically, the government will require truckers’ weeks to basically be capped at 70 hours behind the wheel instead of what it is now, which is 82 hours.  Drivers and trucking companies will need to keep logs of the time spent on the road, and both trucking companies and drivers can be fined heavily if they are found to have exceeded those time limits.  This is particularly troublesome for truckers who work at smaller transportation companies, as they believe that this will cut their revenue.

However, the other side of the issue involves the statistics regarding large truck accidents in the United States.  During the calendar year of 2012, nearly 4,000 people were killed across the United States in trucking accidents, and these fatalities included the truck drivers, their passengers and other motorists and people on the road at the time these crashes occurred.  While the numbers regarding trucking accident fatalities have been coming down in recent years, some feel that is still too many people being killed in these incidents.

While there is no definitive source for the number of people who were killed by fatigued truck drivers, statistics indicate that as many as 15 percent of the fatalities occurred because truckers were simply too tired to remain sharp behind the wheel.  However, this is an estimate and it’s in some dispute from members of the trucking industry.

What is known is that truckers will be spending less time per week on the road.  While that may or may not help to lower the number of trucking accidents, it will not remove the possibility that truck drivers will still act in a negligent manner from time to time.  If you or someone you love has been injured in a trucking accident that was caused by someone else, contact the Las Vegas accident lawyers at Bernstein & Poisson today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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