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Truck Safety Coalition Lawsuit Wants to Limit Truckers’ Work Hours

A coalition of truck safety advocates are asking a federal court to overturn a ruling that allows truck drivers to drive one more hour before taking a break. A new rule, introduced by the Bush Administration in 2003 had increase the number of hours that a commercial trucker can drive during a 14-hour period-from 10 hours to 11 hours-before taking a break.

Parents Against Tired Truckers says that a person’s response reflexes are up to 50% slower after 17 hours without sleep. Driver fatigue is a major cause of truck accidents.

Opponents have already persuaded a federal court on two occasions to reject putting the extended hours into place. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) currently has an “interim final rule” in place that allows commercial truckers to drive no more than 11 hours a day and no more than 70 hours a week. U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters claims that they have information that proves the rule is safe. The coalition wants the court to enforce its order that strikes down the “hours of service” rule.

Opponents say the rule lets truck drivers operate their trucks on the road 30% more than they were previously allowed to. They claim that this increases the chances of pedestrians, other motorists, motorcyclists, and passengers, getting seriously injured or killed in a truck accident.

If you or someone you love was seriously injured in a Boston-area truck crash or a truck collision that occurred anywhere else in Massachusetts, you should contact an experienced Massachusetts truck accident attorney immediately.

Truck accidents are more complicated to prove than car accidents or motorcycle collisions. Commercial trucking companies and their insurers can be tough to deal with, there are FMCSA rules involved, and specific evidence-including record logs and other evidence that the truck companies may have access to-must be gathered and preserved immediately.

Here are the large truck accident injury and death statistics for 2006:

• 85,984 injuries • 4,995 fatalities

Lawsuit seeks to limit truckers’ hours, CNN.com, December 21, 2007
Court Asked To Stop Extension Of Truck Drivers’ Hours, AHN, December 20, 2007
2006 National Truck Crash Facts, Ai.volpe.dot.gov

Related Web Resources:

Truck Safety Coalition

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration