In our last post, we highlighted the massive accident that occurred on I-25 in Denver. While a fast moving snow storm was the likely culprit behind the accident, authorities explained to the media that it could take days to reach the actual cause. In all, 104 cars were involved in the crash, which stretched over a 1½ mile stretch of highway.
While crashes like these are rare, it is an example of why the federal government incorporated strict new regulations regarding “hours of service,” specifically the number of hours truck drivers can be behind the wheel in a particular day. The rules also called for drivers to take periodic breaks during their work day, and set limits for the number hours drivers can work during a particular week. Additionally, drivers must take at least 34 hours off in order to “reset” themselves and start a new work week.
While these regulations were met with criticism by some trucking companies, who claimed that it would cut into revenues, the safety benefits are still being realized on highways across the country. In fact, a recent study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drivers who took at least two nighttime rest periods as part of their reset time were less likely to be involved in an accident compared to drivers who had only one night during their rest period.
While an extra day of rest may not have helped in avoiding last Saturday’s crash, but it is likely to prevent other crashes in the future.
Source: HuffingtonPost.com “New safety rules for truck drivers effectively reduce fatigue,” Feb. 3, 2014