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Will more truckers be fatigued with these new rules?

Most drivers on the roads today might not be very familiar with the strict limits that are placed on semitruck drivers. There are many different regulations that they must follow. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the agency that governs many of these. In September 2020, the FMCSA had some new regulations go into effect regarding the Hours of Service (HOS) rules that truckers must follow.

There are a few new rules that could potentially put the public in danger because they may contribute to trucker fatigue. These include:

  • Allowing truckers who drive a rig with a sleeper berth to split up their 10-hour off-duty rest break
  • Giving truckers 2 extra hours of driving time on top of the normal 14-hour limit if they have to deal with adverse driving conditions
  • Changing short-haul driving hour limit from 12 to 14 hours, so they have the same limit as long-haul truckers

Truckers need just as much sleep as any other adult, so ensuring they're getting that should be a priority. Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep per night, so the trucker won't get that if the 10-hour off-duty time is split into two equal shifts.

As you can imagine, a trucker who's fatigued can cause very serious wrecks. The victims of these crashes can suffer catastrophic injuries. This may lead to a claim for compensation. By working with a lawyer who's familiar with the trucking industry, you may find that you don't have to stress about your case. The lawyer can determine what parties to hold liable for your injuries, as well as what types of compensation to seek and in what amounts. You should get started quickly so the state's time limits don't pass you by.

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