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Would Shorter Hours for Truck Drivers Decrease or Increase Miami Truck Accidents?

Fatigued driving is a major concern for those who wish to decrease the number of Miami car accidents and truck accidents. There is well-established research that driving sleepy can be just as dangerous as driving drunk, as it affects reaction times, mobility, and other risk factors just as much. There are already many regulations intended to limit the hours that commercial truck drivers can spend on the road and the number of hours they must rest before they can resume driving.

However, there has been a growing movement to reduce hours of service for truck drivers even further. Advocates of the changes say that reducing the current “hours of service” limit from eleven hours a day to ten hours a day can further curb fatigued driving and the number of truck accidents caused by the problem. Others, however, claim that reducing hours can actually contribute to truck accidents.

A congressional panel was recently held in order to explore the issue. W.S. Badcock Corp., a furniture retailer, testified on behalf of the National Retail Federation (NRF), stating that reducing hours of service more would place more trucks on the road, effectively increasing the risk of Miami truck accidents and traffic accidents across the country. The furniture store also noted that the new rules would increase costs for the retail industry and hurt the US economy as a whole.

Retailers are also concerned about another proposed change – one that would require two nighttime rest periods for truck drivers taking the required 36-hour break after each week of driving. Retailers are concerned that in urban cities such as Miami, traffic accidents might actually become more common with this proposed change, since currently many truck drivers drive in city areas at night to avoid daytime traffic. Effectively reducing the possibility of nighttime deliveries, retailers state, could mean that trucks will be forced to share the road with Miami daytime traffic, leading to more congestion and more accidents.

The current 11-hour hours of service daily limit was introduced in 2004 and according to federal agencies the number of fatal commercial truck accidents declined 31% between 2007 and 2009, likely due at least in large part to the change. Since the initial restriction on driving hours had such a positive impact on truck crashes, some advocates of the new driving changes suggest that reducing hours of service may further reduce the number of truck traffic fatalities. However, others argue that any changes would upset the current systems in place and could result in more accidents. It is unknown at this time whether the new rules will be adopted or not.

Unfortunately, Miami truck accidents still claim many lives and cause many permanent injuries each year. If you have been injured in a Miami traffic accident involving a commercial vehicle, it is important to consult with a qualified South Florida truck accident attorney shortly after your accident. Determining liability in a case involving a commercial truck carrier can be very complex and such defendants are often represented by powerful insurance companies and teams of attorneys. Your case deserves the experience of a qualified attorney. To find out how much your case could be worth and to find out about your rights, arrange for a free consultation with the Flaxman Law Group today.