No statistics are available, but I’m beginning to suspect that the new hours of service rules adopted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration may be helping to reduce the incidence of fatigue related truck crashes. This is just an impressionistic hunch and extremely preliminary, but there may be a trend.
For nearly a year and a half, I have had news feeds on Google and Yahoo to provide material about tractor trailer crashes for the "Truck Wreck of the Day" feature on this blog. A year ago there were frequent news stories about dramatic and devastating truck wrecks that appeared to a fit a pattern consistent with driver fatigue. I still see some, a lot of which involve injury to the truck driver only. However, the overall impression in seeing the news stories stream through is that there appear to be fewer wrecks fitting that pattern.
And, as I drive the interstates, I see rows of trucks lined up for the drivers to take their mandatory rests breaks.
Could it be that the new hours of service rules, which have been subjected to much criticism from drivers and safety advocates, are actually doing some good? The jury is still out.
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.