By Serious Injury Law Group

In Traffic Accident Articles

One of the many challenges that commercial truck fleets face is ensuring that their drivers are safe while also pushing them to hit their delivery deadlines. Truck drivers understandably want to get to their destination as soon as possible. However, there are serious safety concerns when a driver goes too long without a break while handling a massive 80,000-pound vehicle.

To balance these concerns, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) created Hours of Service Regulations dictating how long truck drivers can go without stopping to rest. These guidelines were recently updated, though, and a new survey shows that many truck fleets are struggling with the changes.

If you were injured in a truck wreck, you need a law firm that is knowledgeable about the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, including hours of service limits. Our firm can investigate your claim and determine if the trucking company’s violation of the hours of service rules contributed to your accident. We know how to hold truck companies and their drivers accountable. Call the Serious Injury Law Group for a free consultation today.

What the Survey Found

The survey, which was conducted by the firm J.J. Keller & Associates a week before the new changes went into effect, showed a number of challenges that fleets are facing with regard to the new hours of service rules. First, it found that many truck fleets weren’t aware of the new rules or didn’t fully understand them. Only 45 percent of respondents said they were aware of the new rules and had a solid understanding of the change they would have on their fleets’ operations. About 39 percent of respondents said they were aware of the new rules, but either didn’t understand or hadn’t yet evaluated the impact these changes would have on their business. And 16 percent of respondents were just hearing about the new rules, even though the survey went out a week before the changes went into effect.

The survey also showed that many fleets were delaying making any substantive changes in light of the new rules. While 27 percent of respondents said they had already made changes to their operations and 23 percent said they were planning on making changes, around half of the respondents were less enthusiastic about making changes. About 10 percent of respondents said they would wait and see before making any changes, 7 percent said they would not be making any changes, and almost 33 percent said they didn’t know or were unsure of what changes they might make.

What Are the Challenges Fleets Are Facing?

The study indicated the biggest challenge fleets are facing with regard to the new hours of service rules isn’t the new rules themselves, but understanding them and adopting them. That lack of understanding indicates a serious communication problem.

The survey also said that a particular concern for many fleets is the new requirements that center on electronic logging devices, or ELDs. ELDs are attached to the engine of a truck to help get better data on how long drivers are going without a break, a driver’s performance on the road, and so on. The new hours of service guidelines carve out some new exceptions for ELD usage, but almost 30 percent of respondents to the survey said they weren’t sure how the new guidelines would impact how they do business.

Need a Truck Accident Lawyer in Alabama? Contact Our Firm Today

While the new hours of service rules are designed to help keep truck drivers and motorists safe, truck accidents are, unfortunately, still going to happen. If you’re injured in a crash in Alabama, call the truck accident attorneys at Serious Injury Law Group today.

Our group of highly experienced attorneys will help you demand the full compensation you deserve to pay for your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses after an accident. Contact us now for a free case review.

Attorney Chuck James

Chuck James is a Mobile native who graduated from University of Alabama. Chuck has been practicing law since early 2000. Contact Chuck James today for help with your personal injury case. Free consultations. Locations in Birmingham and Montgomery.