Truck drivers are limited to the amount of hours they can work consecutively by federal hours of service trucking regulations. Currently, most commercial truck drivers are limited to 11 hours of driving in a 14-hour work day and must also take 10-hour consecutive breaks before starting the clock again.
However, proposed changes would give truck drivers the ability to split their consecutive break up throughout the workday.
Under a new plan released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration last month, drivers could split up their 10-hours breaks instead of taking them at one time. The plan would also entail extending the drivers’ work hours by an additional two hours in the event they have to drive through adverse conditions like severe weather.
Most truck drivers and trucking associations are proponents of the proposed changes. The American Trucking Associations said the changes followed their “core principles.” On the other hand, some safety advocacy groups say that weakened hours of service regulations could increase the risk of trucking accidents.
Studies show that sleepy driving is one of the leading causes of on-road collisions, including those involving big trucks. It’s the reason why the hours of service regulations were enacted in the first place. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that around 100,000 accidents occur each year that could be contributed to drowsy driving.
Trucking accidents are some of the most complex personal injury cases, as there are many different factors that can impact liability. If the law passes, it may impact the number of accidents and add another factor into the mix.
If you or a loved one is injured in a trucking accident, don’t hesitate to contact the seasoned trucking accident attorneys at Fowler | Helsel | Vogt. We will look at your case, determine fault and help you pursue compensation against any liable parties.
Contact our firm at (559) 900-1280 to schedule your free consultation.
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