A recent trend of trucking regulations reversals has raised caused alarm among safety advocates. The rollbacks, which began at the first part of the year, successfully blocked safety regulations passed by the previous administration. The rules would have increased regulations for truckers’ breaks to help reduce fatigued driving. These rules were in addition to current federal mandates for truck drivers regarding breaks.
Emboldened by a recent win from Republicans in Congress, the American Trucking Association wants to start blocking similar rest break regulations on a state level. An Illinois truck accident lawyer can help victims understand how these and other trucking laws help ensure a safer driving experience for everyone.
Rolling Back the Rules for Truckers
Despite claims by scientists that extended rest periods, especially during the early morning hours, are critical for safety, the ATA asserts that additional breaks do not provide additional safety to those on the road. In addition to requiring longer breaks, the previous administration required that truck drivers break between 1 and 5 in the morning. Drivers were also required to have at least 34 hours rest before they began a new workweek. Both of these were successfully reversed by the current Congress.
The American Trucking Association is currently seeking a uniform federal rule regarding required breaks and hours of service. Additionally, many segments of the trucking industry are already intending to push for increased truck weight limits (to 90,000 pounds) and trailer lengths.
Concerns of Safety Groups
Many of the trucking laws are based on studies that show these regulations improve road safety and reduce the risk of serious truck accidents. The reversal of these safety regulations could potentially create the kind of unsafe environment that the laws were seeking to minimize. Safety groups are concerned that Congress will now be more inclined to enact the desired changes proposed by the trucking industry and its lobbyists, despite the potential risks. Fatigue has caused over 70,000 accidents and more than 800 deaths since the beginning of 2013.
Truck crashes often cause significant injuries that require victims to undergo long term, costly medical treatment and many people are unable to return to work. These financial burdens can make it difficult for victims and their families to concentrate on recovery. A truck accident lawyer may be able to assist victims who have been in a large truck accident in obtaining compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and more.
Furthermore, a fatal truck accident has led Howard to believe that the trucking industry needs a new way to keep track of their driver’s hours. You can read more about that topic here.