Revising and Loosening Hours-of-Service Regulations for Truck Drivers – Part 1

Revising and Loosening Hours-of-Service Regulations for Truck Drivers – Part 1

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is responsible for making the rules that apply to trucking companies and their truck drivers, and it does this in various ways. Its “primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.”  This means that the FMCSA is supposed to make rules for trucking companies and truck drivers that protect the public from accidents that cause injury or death.

Hours-of-Service Regulations

One type of rule made by the FMCSA is hours-of-service regulations. Their purpose is to keep sleepy truck drivers off the road, in order to prevent accidents. Hours-of-service regulations are “limits . . . for when and how long” truck drivers can drive, so that they can “stay awake and alert while driving.”

As of 2016, truck drivers could drive over the course of 14-hour periods, and they were then required to rest for 10 consecutive hours before driving again. They still had to take periodic breaks for the rest of the time. There are other regulations that require taking breaks for certain lengths of time after and during certain amounts of driving and that limit the maximum numbers of driving hours over the course of a seven-day period.

Road Safety

Some people are worried, though, that the loosening of these restrictions makes our roads less safe for other drivers and pedestrians. An advocate from the TSC spoke to the Senate Subcommittee on Transportation and Safety and expressed that the changes to the regulations would make roads unsafe and are not backed up by appropriate research. The revised regulations may be cause for worry, so be careful on the roads.

What to Do if You are Harmed in a Trucking Accident

If the roads are unsafe and you do end up getting hurt in a trucking accident, you should call an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in injuries from trucking accidents, so that you can seek the compensation you deserve. Linebaugh, Dority & Allen has a team of attorneys who specialize in this type of accident, and you can contact us for help with your case.