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Federal government steps in to reduce truck accident rate

Motor vehicle accidents of any type can be severe and happen in the blink of an eye. Texas residents also know the potential increased severity when such collisions involve large trucks due to their size and impact ability. A variety of personal injuries can result from such crashes including head or neck injuries, brain trauma, back injuries and even death.

Causes of truck accidents also range and include distracted or fatigued truckers. According to information released by the National Truck Accident Lawyers, fatalities occur in close to 98 percent of all wrecks involving large trucks and 30 percent of those are influenced in some way by truck driver fatigue.

Legal changes to improve motorists' safety

In the summer of 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association put fully in place a series of new laws and guidelines focused around the working and rest time for truck drivers in an effort to reduce the fatigue that is common for them and, in so doing, increase safety on the road for all motorists.

In general, the number of hours per day and per week that a trucker is allowed to work or drive has been reduced. New parameters guide the need for breaks in a given work day or work week as well.
Specifics include:

  • Daily work hours cannot exceed 14
  • Daily drive hours cannot exceed 11
  • Weekly work hours cannot exceed 70
  • 30-minute breaks are required for every shift of eight hours
  • A 34-hour rest per week is required and must include two unique spans from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.

There can be harsh penalties or fines for anyone found to violate these guidelines. Trucking companies and truck owners as well as individual truckers can be assessed fines for not following these important safety laws.

Jefferson County's safety record

Jefferson County is fortunate to have a lower than average rate of motor vehicle fatalities than some counties in the state. However, every life is worth saving and even one fatality per year is reason to continue to improve safety on the roads.

Statewide, the National Highway Transportation Safety Association recorded that 3,016 people died in vehicular accidents in 2011, with 26 of those deaths occurring in Jefferson County. Truck accidents were responsible for 427 deaths around the state and one in Jefferson County.

Proper help can make the difference

If you or someone that you know is ever involved in an accident involving a commercial truck, you should not hesitate to obtain help from an experienced lawyer. Navigating the post-collision process with truck companies and insurers can include many nuances that make proper and professional help very important.