In early December, Republican lawmakers were successful in preventing the advancement of legislation that was intended to keep exhausted truck drivers off the roads. West Virginia motorists should know that there will be even more attempts to roll back safety rules for truckers. The American Trucking Associations, which has stated its intent to try to block state regulations that will mandate more rest breaks for truckers beyond those required by federal statutes, believes that there should be one nationwide rule governing work hours for interstate truck drivers.
This blocking of the Obama administration’s safety rules has alarmed safety advocates who believe it may be the start of a broad reversal when the Trump administration moves into the White House. It is expected that shippers will campaign to have the weight limit on trucks increase to over 90,000 pounds. They are also expected to push for an increase in the length of individual trailers in double-trailer combinations.
The suspended rules required truckers to have two nights off after having a work week of up to 75 hours. The trucking industry objected to the requirement that the mandatory 35-hour break had to include two periods from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m., even though rest during the hours of the early morning is important. The blocking of the rules means that truckers can be back on the road during those early morning hours if their 35-hour break is over.
Truck driver fatigue can cause semi truck accidents that can result in catastrophic injuries to people in other vehicles that are involved in the collisions. People who have been harmed in this manner may want to discuss their situation with an attorney in order to learn whether they have the possibility of obtaining compensation from the fatigued driver as well as the trucking company.