We have talked about trucking regulations on our website before, particularly how they are important to the safety of all roadway users. Safety efforts are supposed to increase safety. Some members of the trucking industry, however, warn that trucking hour limits are creating driving hazards.
As of last December, commercial truckers are required to electronically log their driving hours. Also, they are now subjected to an 11-hour driving limit within a 14-hour period. the purpose of the driving limit is to reduce driver fatigue on the roads. Driver fatigue is dangerous–too often deadly.
Is Fatigue Being Replaced by Recklessness?
Limits on driving hours don’t necessarily mean drivers face less work pressure on a daily basis. They still have loads to deliver and pick up. What non-truckers might not know is drivers get detained regularly, sometimes up to three hours, for their shipments to be loaded or unloaded.
These detainments reportedly haven’t shortened in duration since the beginning of the new driving hour limits. In having to stay under the 11-hour limit, some critics of the stricter regulations warn drivers are driving too fast and/or recklessly to get work done within the hour restrictions.
Is One Danger Worse Than the Other?
Research suggests that drivers who have been detained at shipping docks for longer than expected speed to their next destination after, often “pushing it” beyond the realm of safe driving. In these cases, the drivers might not be fatigued, but speeding kills, too.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that about 16.5 percent of road fatalities in 2015 involved a drowsy driver. In 2016, speeding contributed to more than one-quarter of deadly crashes. These statistics, as well as the safety concerns regarding the new hour regulations, are concerning.
Are Truck Law Weaknesses Your Concern?
It can take time to make legal details just right to properly balance public safety and fairness. Anyone can understand the pressure of having a job to complete and a boss to please. Still, no one should be understanding when a driver causes a wreck because of fatigue or speeding.
When there is a truck accident and you or a loved one gets injured, the fairness of trucking laws probably isn’t your main concern. Talking to an experienced truck accident lawyer should be. Work with an attorney to seek the justice you deserve when a driver’s negligence threatened or took a life.