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Two nights of sleep for truckers improves traffic safety

In regards to traffic safety, people tend to talk about drunk driving or even distracted driving these days. But there is another threat on the roads that leads to truck accidents too often: driver fatigue.

What is the longest that you have ever been behind the wheel? How much time are you driving during a week? Unless you are a truck driver, you probably aren't putting in 60 hours of driving or more a week. The demanding schedule of truckers can and has led to fatigue-related truck crashes in the past.

New hours regulations aim to change that traffic safety threat.

Researchers have studied the impact of new safety regulations for truck drivers' schedules. Drivers are now required to get more rest between their duty cycles. Simply put, drivers must now get enough time off to have two night periods of rest. Before, drivers got one night period of time off before returning to the roads.

Thus far, research into the safety impact of the new law suggests that the change is living up to the goal of the legislation. Drivers are less tired. That means that they are safer drivers by being able to better focus on the road. Drivers exhibit less erratic driving because of their energy and focus.

Even with stricter trucking laws, there will be those drivers and employers who neglect to follow safety regulations. Maybe the new schedule law will prevent some truck accidents, but those who get injured in a crash because a driver violates the law will want to send the message that the laws exist for a reason. A truck accident lawyer can help a victim seek justice and send that safety message.

Source: Huffington Post, "New Safety Rules For Truck Drivers Effectively Reduce Fatigue," Feb. 3, 2014

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