Studies clash on safety impact of hours rule
A article in eTrucker.com reports conflict on the effectiveness of the new Hours of Service rules that went into effect last year. An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study says truck drivers’ sleep time had increased under the new rule, but they reported slightly more instances than when the old rule was in effect of driving drowsy or falling asleep at the wheel. When drivers were asked about dozing at the wheel at least once in the past month, the reported percentage increased from 13 percent in 2003 to 15 percent in 2004. “The new rule was supposed to improve safety, but our survey shows the opposite,” says Anne McCartt, IIHS vice president for research.A quarter of drivers who were surveyed by IIHS said they drive more than the new daily limit of 11 hours. Eight of 10 drivers said they’re taking advantage of the restart provision that allows them to drive 25 percent more in a week.
On the other hand, an American Truckers Association study study, based on government accident records and data from 70 carriers reported there were decreases between 2003 and 2004 in total injuries and injuries related to DOT recordable accidents, and that By increasing the daily off-duty requirement to 10 continuous hours, the new rules greatly reduced the possibility of chronic sleep deprivation and the development of a sleep debt during a driver’s workweek.
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The Shigley Law Firm represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia, and in other states subject to the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules in each state. Ken Shigley was designated as a “SuperLawyer” in Atlanta Magazine and one of the “Legal Elite” in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and former chair of the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. He particularly focuses on cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks).