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New hours-of-service rules spark truck accident fears for many

The Louisiana roads are rife with large trucks. These vehicles can be intimidating to drivers of passenger vehicles. Their size and the speeds at which they travel can result in serious injuries and death if there is an auto accident. Other factors may play a role in a truck accident. This is where hours-of-service rules become important. These standards are often up for debate and recently, the newly implemented rules for the length of time drivers can stay on the road came into focus. This could be a factor when there is an accident and people are injured or lose their lives.

Small-business truck drivers at odds with Teamsters and safety advocates

Even truckers and their representatives have disagreements over safety. To illustrate how the hour-of service changes have been polarizing, it is useful to look at how small truckers are in favor of the new rules with the Brotherhood of Teamsters and safety advocates are against them. The rules now give drivers more flexibility in their half-hour breaks after driving for eight hours in a row; it adjusts the exception given to those who have a sleeper berth in their truck so they can split into two the 10 hours they must spend off duty within a 14-hour window; it alters the exception for driving conditions; and drivers can stay on the road for two extra hours and drive greater distances if it is a short-haul.

People who do not drive trucks for a living might not fully understand these rules, but the fundamental issue is ensuring that drivers do not remain on the road too long with the possibility of drowsy driving, using substances to stay awake, or break other rules and laws to maximize their output. The union and safety groups assert that the rules changes make the roads more dangerous. The small trucker’s representative disagrees.

Gathering evidence after truck accidents is key for a legal claim

If those who are in the trucking industry are unable to come to a consensus on the safety of the new rules, people who share the road with these large vehicles should also be concerned. These vehicles can do severe damage when there is a collision with a smaller vehicle. People who were hurt will likely face exorbitant medical expenses, the inability to work and need help to perform even basic tasks. A legal filing might be needed to recover compensation for all that was lost. Accruing evidence and determining how and why the crash happened is imperative. Consulting with a firm that understands car and truck accidents may be able to help with a claim.