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FMCSA rule to be dropped based on study results

Colorado residents who are concerned about sharing the road with severely fatigued truck drivers have reason to worry. Truckers often spend many lonely hours on the road even in the dark hours. The catastrophe that can happen when a passenger vehicle collides with a tractor trailer can be tragic. Keeping people safe is therefore important and that was the goal of a ruling made by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2013. 

The FMCSA instituted a new rule that placed parameters around breaks and restart periods for commercial truck drivers. The trucking industry countered saying that the regulations went too far and actually interfered with truckers' abilities to do their jobs. They also asserted that it forced more truckers to be on the road when more passenger vehicles were there adding to congestion and potentially accidents.

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute conducted a study to determine whether or not the rule was necessary. It did show that truckers who took the originally recommended amount of time away from driving each week were more rested. However, it did not relate that better rest to improved safety. For this reason, the provision has now been officially dropped from the FMCSA ruling.

Colorado residents may want to pay extra attention to semi trucks or other large commercial vehicles on the road. If and when an accident happens with such a vehicle, they may find it useful to talk with an attorney to learn how to get help.

Source: American Trucker, "Truckers wins: FMCSA drops 2013 restart provisions," Kevin Jones, March 10, 2017

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