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Federal laws for truck drivers

All motorists are subject to certain laws and penalties designed to protect those who travel the roads. Commercial truck operators in California and other states must adhere to even stricter laws than other drivers due to the increased weight and force that a large truck brings to a crash. The New York Times claims that, while 30,000 people are claimed as road fatalities each year, a surprising one in seven of those deaths are due to collisions with tractor trailers. More of these crashes are caused by fatigue than by drugs or alcohol, making it vital for truck operators to avoid driving drowsy.


Federal regulations have been introduced in an attempt to keep tired truckers off the road. A break of 30 minutes is required at some point in the day and drivers must rest between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. at least twice per week. The total number of hours that CDL operators can drive per week must not exceed 70 and they cannot drive for more than 11 hours each day.


In an effort to ensure that these rules are followed, OverdriveOnline.com reports that courts have required trucks to install electronic logging devices. This technology will use satellite reports to track the truck’s movements and stop times, allowing federal regulators to ensure that truckers are complying with the laws concerning rest and drive time.


While paper logs have previously been used, the number of accidents that have occurred due to drowsy drivers has prompted a mandatory monitoring of trucking hours. The hope is that this will prevent additional accidents and keep tired drivers off the road. Many trucking groups are fighting the law in hopes that it can be repealed.

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