Driving a truck can be a dangerous job. In the last few weeks, weather conditions have created hazardous driving conditions all across New Mexico. Drivers need to be alert and focused to handle the perils of the road.
Unfortunately, in an effort to increase profits, some trucking companies push their drivers to exhaustion, violating hours of service requirements and circumventing logbook rules and regulations. Further truckers – under pressure to make tight delivery schedules – may falsify logbook entries in order to conceal driving in excess of the maximum number of hours allowed.
Within the next several months the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will be reviewing and re-writing the current hours of service rule which lengthened the time drivers could spend behind the wheel before resting. This rule allows truckers to drive up to 11 hours following a break.
Earlier this year, a coalition of advocates released a study showing that the current hours of service rule is unsafe for the public and unhealthy for drivers. Rather than focusing on safety, the current guidelines push drivers to stay on the road while tired in order to meet tight deadlines, increasing truckers’ and other motorists’ risks.
As New Mexico truck accident attorneys we urge the FMCSA to seriously consider reducing the number of hours truckers may be forced to drive. Driver fatigue can lead to tragic accidents – putting both the lives of our truckers and others sharing the road at too great a risk.