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Truck drivers still required to take 30-minute rest breaks

Many North Carolina truck accidents are caused by truck drivers that have been driving for long periods of time without stopping to rest or sleep. To ensure that commercial truck drivers are well rested, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has several sleep and rest break requirements. One of those requirements is that truck operators rest for 30 minutes at some point during the first eight hours of each workday.

In August, the FMCSA decided to uphold its 30-minute break rule despite a petition to rescind it. In 2015, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance had requested that the FMCSA rescind the 30-minute break rule that went into effect on July 1, 2013. In a letter mailed to the CVSA on Aug. 8, the FMCSA denied the petition and explained its reasons for keeping the 30-minute break rule.

The CVSA wanted the break requirement rescinded because it believes the rule is difficult to enforce and inspires more falsification of driving logs. The CVSA also stated that the 30-minute break requirement does not have a significant impact on highway safety. In its reply, the FMCSA said that there is no evidence that the rule is difficult to enforce, and the rule could still contribute to highway safety even if it was.

After a serious truck accident that causes injuries to others on the road, investigators may look at the truck driver's logbook to determine how long the driver had been working and how much rest had been gotten. If a driver was violating safety regulations by skipping breaks, the driver and the trucking company may be found financially responsible for the accident through a successful personal injury lawsuit filed with the assistance of counsel.

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