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Truck regulations enforced by appellate court

Georgia truck drivers may be interested to learn that regulations enacted by the U.S. Transportation Department were upheld by a federal appeals court with one small exception. According to the report, the regulations hope to increase safety standards for truckers by mandating reducing the amount of driving before a break is required.

Under the regulations, truck drivers may only drive for 11 hours of each driving day. In addition, each driver must take a mandated 34-hour rest once a week, and that rest period must include two consecutive nights of rest. However, the regulation that made a short 30-minute rest for short-haul drivers was not upheld.

The trucking industry has been fighting the regulations since they were first enacted approximately 14 years ago. The trucking industry argues that the regulations will cause approximately $18 billion in additional costs to rework the freight networks. In addition, the mandated rest breaks may also reduce overall productivity by approximately three percent.

In 2003, a rule that allowed longer driving shifts was successfully overhauled by consumer groups. The trucking industry has also challenged the regulations before an appellate court of two other occasions.

Trucks often pose serious risks for other drivers, even with the multiple rigorous safety standards imposed on these large vehicles. In some cases, the regulations that truckers are required to follow are not enough to keep truck drivers from operating their vehicles unsafely. They may become distracted or fatigued, which may result in an accident that causes serious injury or death. In these instances, an experienced Georgia attorney may be able to help those who were injured in accidents involving trucks by first determining who was liable for the accident.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Trucking Industry Loses Challenge to Driver Fatigue Rule", Tom Schoenberg and Jeff Plungis, August 06, 2013

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