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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) acts to prevent fatalities and injuries caused by commercial motor vehicles. The FMCSA enforces safety regulations for carriers and commercial motor vehicle drivers. Currently, truck drivers are limited to an 11-hour driving time limit, but the FMCSA is recommending that the limit be ten hours. Here’s what the American Association for Justice has to say about the issue:

Proposed rules for commercial truck drivers do not provide the adequate level of protection needed to prevent driver fatigue, according to comments submitted today by the American Association for Justice (AAJ). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recommended a 10-hour driving time limit, but indicated they are open to maintaining the current 11-hour requirement.

Every year more than 4,000 people are killed in accidents involving trucks, according to the FMCSA. The National Transportation Safety Board has said driver fatigue is a factor in 30 to 40 percent of these crashes. In fact, research shows the risk of a crash increases twofold after eight hours of consecutive driving, and driver fatigue is the leading contributing factor in truck driver deaths from crashes.

“Driver fatigue puts not only the truck driver workforce at risk, but also other passengers who share the road. Ensuring our roads are safe should be the FMCSA’s top priority,” said AAJ President Gibson Vance.

AAJ also opposes FMCSA’s proposed 34-hour restart period, which would allow truck drivers to bypass the 60/70-hour duty limit. This 34-hour restart period cannot ensure a truck driver receives proper rest. AAJ recommends that the FMCSA mandate a 48-hour restart requirement to provide commercial truck drivers with greater rest and recovery time after working long hours. It would also shorten the work week, meaning less fatigued drivers and safer highways.

One Comment

  1. Gravatar for Joel Strand
    Joel Strand

    I read an article 2 or 3 years ago where the Oregon HP did a study with officers riding with truck drivers, they said that in over 75% of truck / car accidents the driver of the car was at fault.

    The DOT has changed the hours of service @ least twice in the last ten years . What makes them think they even have a clue as far as what truck drivers need or don't need. It seems like some group like MADD is making their decisions, and I don't think they want any trucks at all.

    Any industry in this country would fare much better with less government intervention. We all know that regs are needed but when is enough ever enough with with these agencies.

    Is running our industry out of the country and then opening up our southern border the answer for our childrens future.

    We need leadership in Washington not constant supervision.

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