Truckers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere could soon be able to drive more hours each day, according to media reports. Apparently, the White House is considering a proposal to ease hours-of-service rules that are meant to prevent truck driver fatigue.
According to the Associated Press, trucking industry lobbyists have been pressuring the Trump administration to ease trucker hours-of-service regulations. These rules mandate that truck drivers can drive a maximum of 11 hours in a 14-hour shift. They also require drivers to take a 30-minute rest break before the eight-hour mark of their shift and get at least 10 straight hours of rest before starting their next shift. Drivers who violate these rules can be taken out of service for 24 hours or longer. Since most truck drivers are paid by the mile, the punishment can cause them to lose income.
Traffic safety advocates say these rules help reduce trucking accidents caused by drowsy drivers and save lives. However, the trucking industry believes they are too strict and has been working for years to get them relaxed. The Obama administration declined to ease the rules, but the Trump administration is reportedly already reviewing a proposal to change the regulations. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data indicates that large trucks were involved in 4,237 fatal accidents and 344,000 injury accidents in 2017, which is a 10% increase over 2016.
Truck driver fatigue causes thousands of truck accidents across the US each year. Victims of these crashes are often the occupants of passenger vehicles, who tend to take the brunt of the damage in collisions with large trucks. An attorney with experience in truck accident claims could review an injured victim's case and file a personal injury lawsuit on his or her behalf. If the claim is successful, it could lead to a settlement that pays for the victim's medical bills, lost wages and more.