When the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented a new set of rules designed to ensure that drivers of large commercial trucks receive ample rest and sleep throughout trips in June, 2013, it was meant to reduce the amount of accidents caused by driver fatigue. It was a direct response to the data that revealed the serious impairments brought on by driver fatigue, a problem that has systematically plagued the trucking industry for years.
Because most truck drivers are paid by mile or by the truckload, they are already reluctant to rest for any more time than they absolutely must on a given job. Additionally, clients often penalize drivers when deliveries arrive late, either by making them wait in parking lots for hours on end, or by docking their pay. To stay on schedule, many truckers feel compelled to falsify logs and say they took mandatory rest breaks, even when they did not.
But, no one should be on the road for 36 or more hours straight, let alone someone carrying cargo and operating a complicated vehicle like a tractor-trailer, 18-wheeler or semi-truck. The Department of Transportation reports that fatigued drivers cause 13 percent of all truck and bus crash-related deaths in America.
The FMCSA standards: 2013 Driver Laws to reduce Trucking Accidents in Indiana
The law implemented by the FMCSA has three significant requirements:
- Truckers must take one 30-minute break within the first eight hours they are on the road.
- Once weekly, truckers must make a restart, which entails spending 34 straight hours off-duty.
- Truckers may not drive more than 70 hours in a given week, a 15 percent decrease from the previous limit.
While not part of the provision, it should be noted that the FMCSA has also started taking steps to address the problem with falsified logs. Recently updated in February 2016, check out examples of truck driver log books here. In fact, new electronic logs that are automated and link directly to truck engines are gradually being introduced and installed.
Remember, truckers who falsify logs or refuse to follow the resting laws in place can be found negligent if they cause a trucking accident. An Indiana attorney can help you file a claim.
Experienced Legal Help for Serious Truck Accidents
At Craig, Kelley & Faultless LLC, our truck accident lawyers have extensive experience representing injured victims of large truck crashes. Indiana truck accident attorney David W. Craig has handled hundreds of commercial vehicle accidents, representing clients in Indianapolis, Richmond, Fort Wayne and throughout Indiana.
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