Proposed Commercial Trucking Hours of Service Regulations Are Inadequate

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, more than 4,000 people are killed every year in collisions involving commercial trucks. Driver fatigue is a factor in 30% to 40% of these collisions according the National Transportation Safety Board. Research has demonstrated that the risk of a crash increases twofold after eight consecutive hours of driving. Driver fatigue is the primary contributing factor in truck driver deaths from crashes.  Driver fatigue puts not only the truck drivers at risk, but also other automobile drivers and passengers who share the road with commercial truck drivers.

The proposed rules for commercial truck drivers are inadequate to ensure an adequate level of rest needed to prevent driver fatigue.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has recommended a ten-hour driving time limit, but indicated they are open to maintaining the current 11-hour requirement.  The American Association for Justice submitted comments last month opposing the change.

The American Association of Justice is also opposed to FMCSA’s 34-hour restart period recommendation, which would permit truck drivers to forego the 60/70 hour duty limit.  This 34-hour restart period would not provide a truck driver with sufficient rest. The American Association of Justice recommends that the FMCSA require a 48-hour restart period to provide commercial truck drivers with better rest and recovery time after working long hours.

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