More truckers are going beyond legal limits for time on the road

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Given the number of trucks going to and through Montana, it is natural for people who are sharing the road with these large vehicles to have safety concerns. A collision between a passenger vehicle and a large truck can easily cause injuries and death to those in the smaller automobile.

Safety rules are designed to reduce the chance of a collision, but they are not always followed. Specifically, many truckers are flouting the hours-of-service rules. This problem has gotten worse since 2020 when the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration loosened the rules. For people who have been in a crash with a truck, this is something to consider when determining the cause.

Did truckers being on the road longer play a role in an accident?

The FMCSA has rules in place for how long truckers can remain on the road without rest. During the health crisis, this was relaxed. However, recent statistics suggest that this could have had a negative impact on road safety.

The HOS rules were changed at the end of September 2020. According to the FMCSA, the number of drivers who had a minimum of one violation of HOS rules was much higher after the change was made. It went from 7.6% to 8.5% when counting the drivers who were inspected and had at least one such violation. The number of accidents rose slightly as did the number of deaths.

This came on the heels of changes to the rules for electronic logging devices. These changed the requirements from drivers being able to keep their HOS by hand to using an ELD. It more accurately gauged how long they were on the road. FMCSA is careful to point out that although drivers staying on the road longer could contribute to a rise in accidents, there could be other reasons as well.

After a truck accident, those who were impacted should consider the future

One of the most commonly cited reasons for truck accidents is that truckers are too tired to drive safely. The rules are meant to make sure they stay off the road and get sufficient rest before heading back out. When they do not adhere to the requirements, they could place themselves and others at risk.

This is just one factor in truck crashes that people who have been hurt or lost a loved one should consider. Since the damage can be catastrophic and people may face long-term problems because of it, consulting with professionals who are experienced in assessing truck accidents and deciding what steps to take can be helpful.

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