Detroit Truck Accident Lawyer at Fraser & Souweidane Comments on FMCSA Study on Truck Driver Fatigue, Accident Risk

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The founding partner of Detroit law firm Fraser & Souweidane, P.C., weighs in on a report about the effectiveness of hours-of-service rules in preventing truck accidents.

This study is proof that changes to hours-of-service rules have gone a long way to increase safety for drivers who share the road with these massive trucks.

Commenting on a recent study examining the effects of hours-of-service regulations on fatigued truck driver crashes, Detroit truck accident lawyer Edward Souweidane of the law firm Fraser & Souweidane, P.C. said today that changes made in July 2013 could have already prevented dozens of fatal truck accidents.

FleetOwner (“FMCSA says study supports HOS restart change,” January 30) reported that a federally mandated survey conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) revealed that hours-of-service changes requiring truckers to get more rest have increased truck driver alertness and awareness behind-the-wheel.

“In July 2013, hours-of-service regulation changes went into effect that require truck drivers to begin their work week with two nighttime periods of rest between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.,” Souweidane said. “Prior to these changes, truckers were permitted to begin their work week with just one nighttime rest. This study is proof that changes to hours-of-service rules have gone a long way to increase safety for drivers who share the road with these massive trucks.”

The FleetOwner report stated that study was conducted by the Washington State University Sleep and Performance Research Center and Philadelphia-based Pulsar Informatics. The study included 106 drivers, 1,260 days of data, and measured the sleep, reaction time, sleepiness and performance of the truck drivers before and after FMCSA rule changes went into effect.

According to FleetOwner, the study compared the performance of drivers with one nighttime rest period against drivers with two nighttime rest periods. The study found drivers with one nighttime rest period exhibited more lapses of inattention, reported greater sleepiness, and swerved between lanes more often.

“Trucking companies might be quick to argue that changes to hours-of-service regulations have an adverse impact on productivity and their own financial well-being. But no exceptions can be made when it comes to protecting the safety of anyone using the roads,” said Souweidane.

Souweidane said it’s the responsibility of truck companies to enforce hours-of-service rules and for truckers to take every step necessary to remain alert and aware while behind-the-wheel.
“A failure to do so could result in a fatal accident that may be grounds for a lawsuit against the negligent trucking company or truck driver who failed to follow the rules,” he said.

About Fraser & Souweidane, P.C.

The attorneys at Fraser & Souweidane, P.C. have over 45 years of experience protecting the rights of personal injury and accident victims in Detroit and throughout the Tri-County area. Practicing law in Michigan since 1978, attorney Stuart Fraser IV is an Avvo-rated attorney who has obtained millions of dollars in settlements and verdicts for his clients. Founding partner Edward Souweidane has practiced law in Michigan since 1993 and also obtained an Avvo rating for his experience, industry recognition, and professional conduct. In addition to car and truck accident cases, the experienced legal team at Fraser & Souweidane, P.C. handles premises liability cases, wrongful death cases, and a variety of other personal injury cases.

If you’re looking for more information on what to do after you’ve been in a truck accident in the greater Detroit area, contact Fraser & Souweidane today for a free case consultation or call 866-465-9095. Visit the Mount Clemens office location at:

10 S. Main St, Suite 302
Mount Clemens, MI 48043

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