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Program aims to reduce fatigue among truck drivers

Texas truckers who drive big rigs may be interested in results of a recent international Roadcheck day in Iowa. Motor Vehicle Enforcement Agency personnel performed a 37-step inspection on trucks and drivers at a weigh station on Interstate 380. The program's goal is to improve safety on the nation's highways.

The annual inspection program focused on how long drivers had been on the road this year. Truckers are only allowed to drive 14 hours before they must rest. Drivers who exceed these hours could be fined. Over the 2017 Roadcheck days, almost 33,000 drivers were found in violation of the hours-in-service rule; of these, 1,735 violators were in Iowa. Fatigued drivers, as well as those impaired by alcohol or drug use or illness, were involved in 157 fatal accidents in 2016, says the Federal Motor Carrier Association. Seventy of these accidents involved fatigued drivers or those who fell asleep at the wheel.

New federal regulations call for electronic monitoring of how long a trucker drives. The state found 247 violations on one of this year's Roadcheck days. The majority of these violations were for drivers exceeding the allowable hourly limit although 25 violations were for trucks in need of repair and one driver was found to be intoxicated and in possession of illegal drugs.

People who have suffered injuries in 18-wheeler accidents caused by a fatigued or impaired truck driver may be eligible for compensation through a personal injury claim. A personal injury attorney may explain eligibility and the claims process, including compensation for injuries. The attorney also may be able to help victims obtain this compensation for the trucking accidents they were involved in.

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