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Trump Administration Considers “Tweaking” Hours of Service Rules Intended to Prevent Deadly Fatigue-Related Truck Crashes

Truck Accident Lawyer | 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyer | Zehl & Associates

The Trump-appointed head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has indicated that he is open to “tweaking” Hours of Service Regulations put in place to reduce the risk of deadly fatigue-related truck crashes.

FMCSA Head Promises a More Industry-Friendly Stance

Among other things, the current Hours of Service Regulations require truck drivers to take a 10-hour break once they have driven 11 consecutive hours.

But in a recent interview with Overdrive, a trucking industry publication, FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez indicated that his agency could soon allow truck drivers to split the required 10-hour off-duty period into segments.

The FMCSA may also reconsider a requirement that mandates a 30-minute break once a truck driver has been on-duty for 8 consecutive hours.

In the course of the interview, Martinez made it clear that trucking companies – one of the very industries the FMCSA is supposed to regulate – have his ear.

“I’d like to be able to say a year from now that the industry has noted a difference in posture from the previous three years or five years from this agency,” he told Overdrive. “That we are more receptive to new ideas. That we listen better.”

FMCSA Has Already Abandoned Mandatory Sleep Apnea Screening for Commercial Drivers

It wouldn’t be the first time the FMCSA has sided with the trucking industry should it make good on Martinez’s promises.

In fact, shortly after President Trump took office, the FMCSA abandoned a proposed regulation that would have required commercial drivers to undergo medical screening for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

The condition, which is believed to affect up to 22 million Americans, greatly increases the risk that a driver will fall asleep at the wheel.

The Obama Administration proposed the sleep apnea screening rule in 2016, after a deadly fatigue-related crash involving a tour bus and an 18-wheeler killed 13 people outside of Palm Springs, California.

Our Undefeated Truck Accident Lawyers Have Successfully Represented Clients in Cases Involving Driver Fatigue and Undefeated Sleep Apnea

Our Undefeated Truck Accident Lawyers have won record-breaking settlements and verdicts for clients injured in fatigue-related truck and bus crashes.

Most recently, Obstructive Sleep Apnea was found to be a factor in a Greyhound bus crash that injured several passengers when the driver lost control of the vehicle, causing it to flip over multiple times.

Greyhound maintained that a “sudden medical episode” caused the driver to pass out just before the crash,

However, our Personal Injury Lawyers obtained the first court-ordered sleep study of a commercial driver in Texas, which confirmed he had moderate to severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

The case was settled for $6 Million before trial and stands as the largest settlement involving driver fatigue in Greyhound’s corporate history.

Our record-breaking settlement was widely covered by media outlets throughout the country, including CBS Morning News.

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In addition to being Undefeated, our Experienced Accident Lawyers have Won Over $1 Billion and successfully represented hundreds of people across Texas, Louisiana, and throughout the United States who were injured or tragically killed in crashes involving 18-wheelers and other large commercial vehicles.

If you or a loved one have questions about your legal rights and options following a bus or truck accident, please call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here to send us a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form.

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