SOME FIND THE LESSENING OF TRUCK SAFETY RULES WORRISOME

Drivers in Clinton often find themselves sharing the road with trucks and other large vehicles. When motor vehicle accidents with semitrailers occur, they are often very serious given the size and weight of the trucks and victims may sustain severe injuries.

The safety of drivers everywhere may now be in more jeopardy as a set of rules aimed at regulating how many hours truckers must sleep was thwarted by Republican lawmakers. Currently, truck drivers are limited as to how many hours per week they can work and they must take a break of 34 hours before a new work week can begin. Because sleep experts have expressed that getting sleep is crucial in the early morning hours, a requirement was in place that mandated the rest time between work weeks to include two sleep breaks during those hours. However, that provision has now been suspended, as has a requirement that stops a driver from starting a new work week after a 34-hour break within the same seven days as his or her previous work week.

Safety advocates fear that even more rollbacks could be coming in the future once both a Republican-controlled Congress and Republican president are in office. Increasing the allowable length and weight of trucks are areas that are likely to be targeted. Many in the trucking industry favor deregulation such as this, most often citing costs as a reason. Some states are also looking to further regulate sleep hours for truckers beyond what is required by the federal government. It is likely that such effort by the states will also be met with resistance.

Getting behind the wheel of a truck without enough sleep can greatly affect a driver’s cognitive and motor functions, putting everyone on the road at risk. People who have been involved in an accident with a truck may wish to contact an experienced attorney.

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