Georgians Injured By Tractor-Trailer Drivers

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As a Georgia attorney focusing on commercial vehicle and tractor-trailer collisions, I have seen the “underside” of the trucking business. Many of us grow up driving frequently on the highways and we see these huge semi-trucks everywhere we go. Sometimes, children give the driver the “honk” sign, hoping the driver will oblige with a thunderous ‘honk’ of the tractor-trailer’s horn. Unfortunately, as we grow older, our perceptions of tractor-trailer drivers and companies change.

The more we drive and the more we listen to the news, we are exposed to the irresponsible actions of the commercial drivers and their employers. Tractor-trailer drivers in Georgia and other states are regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This government agency has passed numerous rules and regulations designed to safeguard the motoring public. For example, tractor-trailer drivers are limited in the number of hours they can drive. Specifically, a driver may only operate his truck for 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty. Also, drivers may not operate the trucks after 60/70 hours on duty during 7/8 consecutive days. The rules are slightly different for commercial drivers who are transporting passengers instead of property. A driver who transports people instead of goods may not drive more than 10 hours after 8 consecutive hours off or for any length of time after having been on duty for 15 hours following 8 consecutive hours off.

These, and other, rules governing the conduct of interstate commercial drivers may be found at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s website.

Obviously, these rules are designed and implemented in order to ensure that drivers who are in control of huge trucks, which are tremendously dangerous, have enough rest to operate the rigs safely. Unfortunately, many drivers and companies do not follow these rules. Our firm has seen numerous instances where tractor-trailer companies operate in such a way where the driver is encouraged to violate various rules set forth by the FMCSA. This sort of behavior frequently results in preventable collisions and serious injuries to innocent motorists.

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