When you’re driving along I-35 or I-70, there’s a good chance you’ll come upon a truck driver. Motorists are often intimidated by the tall vehicles towering over them, and they’re right to feel that way. Becoming involved in a truck accident is a dangerous prospect, and one that is possible—especially now that truckers are able to work longer hours each week.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued regulations that required truck drivers to only work a certain number of hours each day and week. As you may remember, this issue came into public scrutiny after actor Tracy Morgan was critically injured when a Walmart truck driver allegedly crashed into the limousine in which he was traveling. An investigation revealed that the driver had been awake for 24 hours when the truck accident took place.
The New Rules
Lawmakers had been pushing to reduce the amount of time truckers were able to drive every week, while the trucking industry wanted things to stay the way they were. Recently, however, it seems that the trucking industry has won. Here, we take a look at the updated hours of service law and how it affects you:
- Drivers are now able to work up to 82 hours a week, rather than the 70 hours imposed by the previous rules.
- Drivers can work up to 14 hours a day, including 11 hours of driving. The trucker who hit Tracy Morgan was near the end of a 14-hour shift.
- Truckers must rest for 34 hours if they work at least 70 hours a week, with a mandatory rest between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. for two consecutive nights.
How Can This Affect You
These new rules mean that drivers who are already over-worked and tired are expected to work even harder and with less sleep, which means you are even more likely to become injured in a truck accident.
If you are the victim of a truck crash, our experienced truck accident attorneys may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call us directly at 816.471.5111 for your free consultation.