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Trump Administration Continues Regulatory Purge by Targeting Regulations Designed to Prevent Fatigue-Related Truck Accidents


The Trump Administration is continuing its regulatory rollback, this time targeting an Obama-era rule that would have required truck drivers to be screened and treated for sleep apnea.

The industry is also pushing the administration to delay a regulation that would require truckers to use electronic logging devices, or ELDs, in an effort to prevent fatigued drivers from operating large trucks and 18 wheelers.

Sleep Apnea Implicated in Deadly California Collision

Both regulations are intended to reduce the number of truck accidents related to driver fatigue.

According to NPR, the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board recently stated that the Sleep Apnea screening rules may have prevented a horrific crash between a tour bus and semitrailer near Palm Springs, California that killed 13 people in October 2016.

“On that October morning, on I-10 outside of Palm Springs, the system failed and we had one of the most deadly highway crashes we’ve seen in recent times,” Robert Sumwalt said.

An investigation into the deadly collision determined that the bus driver – who died in the accident – may have dozed off before hitting the truck. Both drivers likely suffered from undiagnosed, obstructive sleep apnea. Houston Truck Accident Attorney today.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) had been drafting the sleep apnea rule under the Obama Administration. However, the Trump Administration halted those efforts in August.

“It is unacceptable that they have pulled this rule back,” Sumwalt said. “And here’s a case where people just riding on a bus, just paying money to go to a casino and back — they died because of obstructive sleep apnea in two drivers in two separate vehicles.”

Truck Driver in California Accident Allegedly Falsified Log Book

The other rule targeted by the Trump Administration would have further reduced fatigued driving by preventing truck drivers from falsifying their Log Books and lying about the number of hours they’ve been behind the wheel.

Investigators allege that the truck driver involved in the Palm Beach tragedy falsified his log book to make it appear that he had more sleep in the days leading up to the crash than he actually had.

The federal hours of service rule limits truckers to driving for 11 hours per day within a 14 hour period, followed by 10 hours of rest. Drivers currently keep track of their hours in paper log books – dubbed “comic books” by some because they are easily falsified.

The current system was implemented in the 1930s. But on December 18th new regulations will require truckers to use ELDs to keep track of their hours of service.

The looming ELD mandate has drawn protests in recent weeks from independent truckers, citing the cost of the devices. A coalition of truck owner-operators and drivers are pushing the Trump Administration to delay the new rules and conduct additional studies before they are adopted.

But safety advocates fear that any delay will cost lives.

“We see these issues in crash after crash, and we’re tired, yes we are tired, of seeing commercial drivers being tired,” Sumwalt said.

Our Undefeated Truck Accident Lawyers Have Recovered Record-Setting Verdicts and Settlements in Cases Involving Driver Fatigue and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Having recovered some of the largest verdicts and settlements in the country in cases involving driver fatigue and untreated sleep disorders, our Truck Accident Lawyers are keenly aware of the devastation these preventable crashes inflict on victims and their families.

Just recently, for example, our Undefeated Bus Accident Lawyers won a $6 million settlement on behalf of five passengers injured in a 2013 rollover crash that occurred after a Greyhound bus driver fell asleep at the wheel.

The case was resolved after our attorneys obtained a court-ordered sleep study – the first of a commercial driver in the state of Texas – that indicated the Greyhound driver suffered from moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea.

The recovery represents the largest settlement in Greyhound’s corporate history.

CLICK HERE to watch a CBS This Morning report about the case.

Contact Our Undefeated Truck Accident Lawyers Today for a Free Legal Consultation at 1-888-603-3636 or CLICK HERE

Having recovered more than $1 billion on behalf of our clients — including record-setting settlements and verdicts against the largest trucking and bus companies in the United States, our Undefeated Truck Accident Attorneys have the resources and skills needed to help ensure that you and your family are fully compensated for your injuries and losses.

If you or someone you love was injured or tragically killed in an accident involving a truck or other large commercial vehicle, call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here to send us a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form.

All consultations are free and, because we exclusively represent clients on a contingency-fee basis, you’ll pay nothing unless we win your case.