Proposal To Increase Trucking Hours Draws Ire From Public
Safety alarms raised by lawmakers and advocates over proposed increase
Despite evidence that truck driver fatigue and long hours are contributing to numerous fatal accidents on the nation's roads and highways, federal legislation could actually increase the number of hours truck drivers are allowed to drive in a week, according to WNPR News. The amendment to an existing bill would increase the total weekly hours truckers are permitted on the road from 70 to 82 hours. Other legislators and safety advocates say the increase is shortsighted and could lead to much more dangerous highways for all motorists.
Truck driving hours
Only last year, the limit of 70 hours per week under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was introduced. The lower limit was designed to combat the growing problem of driver fatigue in the country's trucking industry.
Because of demands placed on truckers by trucking companies, many drivers often exceed the number of hours they are permitted to drive. Especially when drivers are asked to manually log the number of hours they have been on the road, some drivers may stretch the truth in recording their driving hours. As a result, driver fatigue has become a serious concern, leading to serious crashes that can injure or kill innocent motorists.
Given the problem of truck driver fatigue, the proposal by one federal lawmaker to scrap to 70 hour per week limit in favor of an 82 hour week has drawn the ire of both fellow legislators and the public. A recent poll, according to The Hill, found that 80 percent of the public was against increasing truck driver hours.
Lawmakers who are against the increase cited the survey and have since tried to introduce their own amendment to ensure the 70 hour limit remains in effect. Far from increasing trucking hours, they say, what is needed is a way to ensure that the current limit is better enforced. Proposals have recently been made to introduce cameras and electronic logs in all commercial trucks as a way of ensuring that drivers adhere to the weekly limits and that they are not driving will tired.
Most people would not drive a car if they were too tired to do so safely, so many people are understandably shocked when they hear about drivers of large tractor trailers getting behind the wheel despite feeling fatigued. Truck drivers exceeding the number of hours they are allowed on the road is a serious problem and one that puts all other motorists in harm's way.
Anybody who has been the victim of a truck accident should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Truck accidents often present a number of complicated legal issues, especially since so many parties may be involved, including the truck driver, the trucking company, and the truck company's insurance provider. Because of the unique nature of these accidents, an experienced attorney is an invaluable asset in helping victims hold any potentially negligent parties accountable.