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FMCSA issues new rules to prevent truck accidents

Truck accidents happen all the time, just look at the local news. Unfortunately, many trucking accidents are caused by unsafe truck drivers and many can be prevented. Investigations of trucking accidents in Massachusetts and throughout the country have found that several commercial trucking accidents are caused by truck driver fatigue. Truck driver fatigue is very dangerous and puts everyone at risk on the road when truck drivers do not get enough sleep or rest before driving heavy commercial trucks.

To address the risks associated with truck driver fatigue in the U.S. and in an effort to prevent future truck accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued new hours-of-service rules for commercial truck drivers. The new hours-of-service rules will reduce the maximum number of hours truck drivers can work within a week, from 82 hours to 70 hours per week.

The new rules also require truck drivers to take a 30 minute rest break after working 8 hours behind the wheel. Truck drivers who work the maximum 70 hours in a week will be required to take a "restart" break. The "restart" break requires drivers to rest for 34 hours before they can start working a new 70 hour week, and drivers can only take on "restart" break per week.

The new hours-of-service rules were proposed to prevent drivers from exhaustion and getting fatigued. The Department of Transportation reported that 13 percent of heavy trucking accidents involve drive fatigue every year and hope that the new hours-of-service rules will decrease the number of truck accidents caused by driver fatigue.

Source: My Fox 8, "New truck driving regulations to take effect," Carter Coyle, June 24, 2013

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