Injuries in Truck Accidents
Truck accidents have increased in the past year, and, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2012 there was a 3.7 percent increase compared to 2011 in fatalities involving large trucks. Such an increase in this statistic means that truck accidents are not only a safety and health risk, but also lead to injury or death for a significant portion of the American population.
Because commercial trucks are about 20 times the size of a regular vehicle, the injuries and damages that they can give can be devastating. It is because of these risks that new laws regarding large trucks have been passed. Three important provisions were made: first, lowering the maximum hours of work per week for drivers from 82 hours to 70 hours. Second, drivers must take 30 minute breaks every eight hours of driving. Lastly, they have to have “restarts” (34 consecutive hours of rest per week, which should include two periods between 1AM to 5AM) in order to catch up on sleep. Although many truck drivers and trucking companies are apprehensive about the new laws, they have been given a year to get used to it. These changes aim to lower the leading cause of truck accidents – stress and fatigue.