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Federal rules on truck driver fatigue

Trucking is an important part of business in Roanoke City and across the country. Along with the positives of trucks-- delivering goods and providing jobs -- there are negatives as well. Because these trucks are so large and share the same roadways as cars, any collision can easily lead to catastrophic injuries for the people who are inside the smaller vehicles.

One of the most worrisome causes of truck accidents is truck driver fatigue. A professional driver who has been on the road too long without adequate rest can be a danger to other people on the road.

For that reason the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has rules in place that are meant to combat truck driver fatigue. The hours of service rules limit how long truck drivers can stay on the road per day and per week. They also set rules about how long rest periods must be in between shifts on the road.

These rules have been controversial, and some of the new rules that were scheduled to go into effect in 2013 have now been suspended. However, many of the important limits still stand.

Federal trucking regulations are nothing to ignore. After a truck accident, there will be an investigation to see if the driver and the trucking company followed the rules. If the investigation finds that the driver and the company violated the rules, the company could face fines. The finding could also help establish that the company shares liability for the damages that resulted from the accident. Virginia attorneys with experience in these difficult lawsuits can help the injured or their families to understand their rights and how the law may apply to the facts of their case.

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "Summary of Hours of Service Regulations," accessed Feb. 19, 2015

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