Tulsa, OK- Before Congress passed an appropriations bill last fall, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety, had put in place rules to limit fatigued truck driving accidents. But thanks to successful lobbying in behalf of the trucking industry, lawmakers rolled back federal regulations aimed at reducing fatigued truck accidents and ordered the agency to conduct an additional study. This week the FMCSA released the details of this congressionally-mandated study.
A rider included in the budget omnibus, added by Senator Susan Collins (R- ME), asked the FMCSA to conduct a more “naturalistic” study of the oft criticized restart rule. Collins’ rider also called for just one mandated rest period and lifted restrictions that limited restart periods to once a week.
Since implementation of hours-of -service and restart rules in 2013, commercial truck drivers have each work week capped at a maximum of 77 hours in a seven-day period, or a maximum of 88 hours in an eight-day period. Drivers must include, during their time off, at least two rest periods before a new work week can start and they must include at least two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. rest periods. This is often referred to as the 34-hour re-start rule and was based on previous studies that show nighttime sleep is more restful than daytime sleep, Trucking Info reported.
For the new study, the FMCSA will be analyzing “operator fatigue/alertness, and short-term health outcomes” of two sets of truck drivers. One set will take two mandated rest periods in a week and the other set will only take one mandated rest period. The agency will rely on technologies, assessments and psychological tests to gauge how the restart rule affect driving abilities.
You can learn more about the study from FMCSA here.
The trucking industry pushed back on the HOS rule. But to the victims of a fatigued truck accident, or those who have lost a loved one, asking a driver to stay of the road for a specified 8 eight hours in one week doesn’t seem like too much to ask. It may be inconvenient to a truck driver or a trucking company, but it doesn’t compare to the inconvenience caused by catastrophic, life-changing truck accident.
Fatigued driving is dangerous and can be deadly for any motorist, but given the size and weight of a commercial a fatigued truck driver can cause more damage and harm. Recent studies have shown that fatigued driving could be as dangerous as driving drunk.
Any motorist or truck driver who is fatigued and fails to take necessary precautions that will protect others can be held accountable for the suffering they cause. Our team of Oklahoma truck accident attorneys are standing by, ready to answer your questions, and listen to your concerns. They will listen to the facts in your case and assess whether you are eligible to pursue the at-fault party for compensation.
Know that if you have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident, you don’t have to shoulder the costs. When you have an Oklahoma truck accident attorneys, you can rest assured you will get a generous settlement for your pain and anguish.
For answers to your legal questions regarding a truck or car accident case, call the Aaronson Law Firm at 915-533-0100.