Florida truck driver Laurie Clarke, who was interviewed while taking a break at an Interstate 4 truck rest area in Seminole County, knows how fatigue affects truckers. "Towards the end of the shift, I get tired, no doubt about it," says Clarke, aged 41, who has seen tired truck drivers weaving all over the road. Today, after a series of disastrous truck crashes caused by driver fatigue, renewed discussions are under way to tighten the hours-of-service rules in the trucking industry.

The American Trucking Associations, who represent the motor carrier industry, see it differently and argue that toughening hours-of-service rules is unnecessary and will serve only to drive up costs for trucking companies in a difficult economic situation. "It is hard to understand what the basis would be to change the rules," says Dave Osiecki, the organization's senior vice president for police and regulatory affairs, arguing that the number of fatal tractor-trailer crashes is down.

On a daily basis, truck drivers on interstate haulage are limited to 14 hours of work with no more than 11 hours of driving. But interstate drivers often feel pressured to maximize their driving time even if they need to rest. Traffic is very stressful and requires constant attention for long consecutive hours without the possibility of a break.

Intrastate truck drivers, who work solely in Florida, can drive longer than their colleagues in interstate driving: up to 12 hours of driving in a 16-hour work day. These rules have not been reviewed since 2005, and are clearly causing a serious risk to truckers and motorists who share the road with them.

The Daytona Beach car, truck and motorcycle accident attorneys of Johnson & Gilbert are dedicated to the safety of their clients. If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash in Central East or North East Florida, call us today toll free at (800) 556-8890 and locally at (386) 673-4412 or send us an email to arrange a free consultation.
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