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Randy Appleton
Randy Appleton
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GOP Kills Truck Safety Rules for Fatigued Drivers

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The trucking industry was victorious last month when GOP lawmakers on Capitol Hill were able to block Obama administration safety rules that were designed to keep fatigued truck drivers off the roads. Experts say that more deregulation is on the way, too. 

The American Trucking Association has pledged to come back this month, after the GOP takes full control of Congress, to attempt to block state laws that mandate more rest breaks for truckers beyond what federal guidelines mandate.

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The ATA states that there should be a single national rule on trucking work hours and that the extra rest breaks are not necessary. However, safety advocates are worried that the country could start to see a major rollback of transportation safety regulations once Donald Trump is sworn in as president.

Experts think that shipping companies may also push for increasing the truck weight limit to more than 90,000 pounds, and boost the length of double trailer combos to 33 feet, from a current 28 feet.

Current federal rules mandate that trucker have to take two nights off to rest if they only take minimum rest breaks to begin a new work week. Truckers must take at least a 34 hour break before they begin the new week.

Our View

Our tractor trailer personal injury attorneys understand the need for trucking companies to make profits, but it should never be at the expense of public safety. Our personal injury attorneys have witnessed far too often the grief and agony of families who lost a loved one to a careless truck driver, or a truck driver who fell asleep while driving.

This $5.5 million truck crash settlement we handled involved a truck driver who most likely fell asleep behind the wheel. He slammed into our client’s car at a stop light, and their children in the rear seat were terribly injured for life. We hope that the new Republican administration will keep public safety at the top of mind as they are thinking about rolling back mandatory rest period rules for truckers.