Commercial truck drivers in New Jersey might be interested to hear that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration created new rules that mandate how long truck drivers can drive at a time without taking breaks. The new stipulations were made in an effort to decrease the amount of traffic deaths caused by fatigued commercial drivers. According to the Department of Transportation, between 3,000 and 4,000 people were killed in accidents involving commercial truck drivers, and, of those accidents, 13 percent of them can be attributed to fatigued drivers.
There are three main parts to the new rules for truck drivers. The first rule designed to lower the amount of commercial vehicle accidents is that drivers must take a 30-miunte break within their first eight hours of driving. The next rule is that drivers are required to take 34-hour off-duty periods so that they can catch up on their rest and sleep. Two of those periods are supposed to between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. The last major change is that drivers are no longer allowed to work more than 70 hours per week.
The FMCSA says that the changes will end up costing the trucking industry approximately half a billion dollars since truckers are paid by the load or by the mile. However, the FMCSA also states that improving the health of the drivers and the safety of the roads will help contribute to an economic gain of $200 million.
People who are injured in commercial vehicle accidents due to fatigued truck drivers could choose to seek compensation for their injuries. Personal injury lawyers might be able to assist people in preparing their claims and help them negotiate favorable settlements for them that can help them pay for their medical expenses and pain and suffering caused by their injuries.