Work-Related Safety Standards for Commercial Drivers

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January 16, 2019
Edward Smith

Work-Related Safety Standards for Commercial Drivers

Accidents involving trucks, buses, and other large motor vehicles could lead to dozens of serious injuries and fatalities. It is important not to overlook these severe collisions. According to statistics that have been released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA):

  • In 2016, more than 4,400 large buses and trucks were involved in accidents that had at least one death.
  • This number represents an increase of 2 percent when compared to the prior year.
  • The rate of crashes involving large trucks and buses per mile traveled increased slightly in 2016 from 2015.
  • Overall, the rate of accidents involving large trucks and buses has dropped from 2002.

The overall trend of a decreasing rate of accidents noted from 2002 to 2016 could be attributed to the strict safety standards of commercial drivers. It is important for drivers to adhere to these safety standards not only for their safety but also the safety of others on the road.

Safety Comes First for Commercial Drivers

Commercial drivers often operate large vehicles as a part of their job. While these vehicles are both productive and efficient, they are also dangerous if they are not operated correctly. Therefore, some strict rules and regulations have been imposed by the FMCSA to ensure that trucks and other large vehicles are operated safely. Some rules for commercial vehicle drivers carrying passengers include:

  • Drivers can only operate a vehicle for ten consecutive hours.
  • Drivers who have been on-duty (at work) for more than 15 straight hours, they cannot operate a motor vehicle.
  • These limits reset after having been off-duty for eight consecutive hours.
  • Drivers cannot operate a motor vehicle after having driven for 60 hours in seven consecutive days (or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days).

The hours’ limits are a major part of the rules and regulations regarding commercial drivers who are carrying passengers. Failure to obey the laws is not only a severe violation but could also lead to major accidents.

Severe Accidents can Result

These laws are put in place to protect the driver and the passengers occupying their vehicle. When people do not get adequate rest in between long shifts, their driving abilities are impacted. Some of the ways these impacts manifest include:

  • Drowsiness, which slows the reflexes
  • Impaired decision making
  • Issues focusing on the road
  • Failure to respond to changing road conditions
  • Possible reliance on other substances to stay awake, which can have dangerous side effects

All of these symptoms make it more likely for a serious truck accident to occur. This can lead to numerous traumatic injuries, including bone fractures. When this happens, it is essential for everyone to seek medical care.

Contacting an Injury Attorney

Because of the sheer size of large trucks and buses, accidents are more likely to be severe. When a commercial vehicle is involved in a crash, this can impact dozens of people and their families. In addition to seeking medical care, it is a good idea to speak with an injury lawyer. An experienced attorney can help with:

  • Taking a look at the records of the accident to ensure that the fault has been assigned appropriately.
  • Speaking with professionals who can reconstruct a collision and ensure that the mechanism is correct.
  • Providing an objective presence to help families make difficult decisions during a challenging time.
  • Assisting individuals in pursuing damages related to their medical injuries and emotional pain.

Watch YouTube Video: SAFE-T Part 1: Sleep, Alertness and Fatigue Education for Truckers. This educational video provides safety tips for truck drivers to stay alert on the road.

Sacramento Truck Accident Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a truck accident lawyer in Sacramento. It is important for every commercial driver to adhere to the industry standards to keep both themselves and other drivers safe. If you or someone you care for has been hurt in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, contact me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.

Please see my membership in the Top One Percent, a National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

You can see our verdicts or settlements here.

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Work-Related Safety Standards for Commercial Drivers:

Image Attribution: The photo at the start of this article is seen in its original form on Pixabay. The image has been reproduced here with permission/ Work-Related Safety Standards for Commercial Drivers

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