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New Rules for Big Rig Drivers on the Horizon?

By Grant Law Office on November 28, 2011

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is debating a revision to what’s called the “hours of service rules” for commercial vehicle operators. The rules mandate the frequency and length that any commercial driver can stay on the job during any given shift. The potential shift may decrease the allowed hours from eleven to ten in each 24 hour period, according to reporting by the Worcester Times. The revision may also demand additional mandatory rest periods between the hours of 12:00 am and 6:00 am, a time window relished by truckers for its light traffic, but feared by other vehicle drivers for its propensity to induce deadly levels of driver fatigue.

Big rigs (also known as 18 wheelers, semis, or tractor trailers) are among the most dangerous vehicles on the road due to their immense and imposing size and weight. The slightest miscalculation, lapse in judgment, or negligent action by a driver can result in catastrophic accidents.

Common types of truck driver negligence that may indicate negligent behavior include:

  • Driving too fast, whether above the legal limit or above what is safe for the current road conditions;
  • Driving while tired or drowsy;
  • Distracted driving, including but not limited to cell phone, GPS, and PDA use, text messaging, and eating;
  • Unsafe maneuvers, such as unpredictable lane changes or turns, erratic braking, and failure to brake properly;
  • Failure to properly maintain a truck, or overloading it with cargo; or
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.

Safety must be first on every commercial driver’s list of priorities on the highway. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Georgia highway accident involving a commercial truck that you think was at fault, call the Atlanta truck accident attorneys with The Law Office of Wayne Grant, P.C. Call 1(866) 249-5513 for a complimentary case review today.

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