Trump Close to Gutting Regulations that Prevent Fatigue-Related 18-Wheeler Accidents
The Trump Administration is close to weakening Hours-of-Service regulations enacted to prevent fatigue-related 18-wheeler accidents and other commercial truck crashes.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced its intention to modify the Hours-of-Service rules in August. Specifically, the changes under consideration would weaken the regulations in four key areas:
- Short-haul hours-of-service limit
- Hours-of-Service exception for adverse driving condition
- 30-minute rest break provision
- Split-sleeper berth rule
FMSCA Could Issue Final Hours-of-Service Rule Proposal Next Spring
The trucking industry began to push for regulatory “reforms” shortly after President Trump took office.
Ray Martinez, Trump’s pick to head the FMCSA, is a friend of commercial trucking. In fact, industry groups cheered his appointment and lobbied hard for Senate approval.
Joe DeLorenzo, the agency’s director of enforcement and compliance, recently indicated that a final proposal for Hours-of-Service revisions could be issued next Spring.
“The next step is the decision point – do we have enough to move forward?” he said during a teleconference with trucking industry representatives earlier this month.
“If we decide it’s yes, the next document that everybody sees is an actual proposal. … I can’t give you a day or a time or a month – the administrator has said he wants this done as quickly as possible.”
Driver Fatigue a Major Factor in Many 18-Wheeler Accidents
Driver fatigue is a significant problem in commercial trucking. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Board estimates that drowsy drivers cause 30%-to-40% of all crashes involving 18-wheelers and other big rigs.
Unfortunately, the Trump Administration seems to be on a crusade to undo regulations that keep fatigued truck drivers off the road.
Just months after the President took office, for example, the FMCSA discarded a proposal that would have required commercial drivers to undergo medical screening for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
The Obama Administration proposed the rule after a tour bus and 18-wheeler collided outside Palm Springs, California in October 2016, killing 13 people.
According to federal investigators, the bus driver – who died in the crash – may have fallen asleep at the wheel. What’s more, it appears both drivers suffered from undiagnosed, Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
In addition to truck drivers, the sleep apnea rule would have applied to operators of commercial passenger buses and commuter trains.
Our Undefeated Truck Accident Lawyers Have Successfully Represented Clients After Fatigue-Related Crashes
Our Undefeated 18-Wheeler Accident Lawyers understand the danger an overworked and fatigued commercial driver poses to others on the road, as we have successfully represented clients injured in fatigue-related crashes.
Most recently, for example, we won a $6 million settlement on behalf of several Greyhound passengers who were injured in a rollover crash. Greyhound attributed the accident to a sudden medical episode that caused the bus driver to pass out.
Our attorneys, however, obtained the first court-ordered sleep study of a commercial driver in Texas, confirming that Greyhound’s driver actually suffered from undiagnosed, Obstructive Sleep Apnea and likely fell asleep at the wheel.
Our record-breaking settlement — the largest ever involving driver fatigue in Greyhound’s corporate history — was featured on CBS Morning News and other media outlets throughout the nation.
Have Questions After an 18-Wheeler Crash? Contact Our Undefeated Truck Accident Lawyers for a Free Consult by Calling 1-888-603-3636 or CLICK HERE.
In addition to being Undefeated, our Experienced Truck Accident Attorneys have won over $1 billion for thousands of clients throughout Texas, Louisiana, and across the United States, including some of the largest 18-Wheeler Accident Verdicts and Settlements in defendants’ history.
If you have questions about your legal rights and options following a truck or 18-wheeler crash, call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here to send us a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form.
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