U.S. Department of Transportation to Relax Truck Driver Hour Regulations

truck accident attorneysStatistics show accidents involving trucks weighing as much as 80,000 pounds have increased, so the U.S. Department of Transportation is cracking down on the hours worked by long-haul truckers.

Just kidding.

Instead, the DOT is preparing to relax regulations on how many hours truckers can work, according to The Associated Press. Critics say any changes could lead to more fatigued truckers behind the wheel, making the nation’s roadways more dangerous. They point to a report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for 2017 that found:

  • 4,237 large truck fatal crashes
  • 344,000 non-fatal crashes with injuries

The figures represent an increase of 10 percent since 2016.

Further, trucking accidents are a significant danger in the Houston area, according to The Houston Chronicle. The newspaper ranks the metro Houston area as the worst in the nation for fatalities involving large trucks. Among the key reasons: Driver fatigue.

The Fight Over Regulations

Under current regulations, long-haul truckers:

  • Are limited to 11 hours of driving within a 14-hour period
  • Must have 10 consecutive hours off duty before driving again
  • Who drive for more than eight hours must take a 30-minute break before reaching their limit

The proposed changes, under review by the White House's Office of Management and Budget, have not been made public. A lobbyist for the American Trucking Association, Billy Sullivan, told AP that the government is considering relaxing the rules because of the group’s strong relationship with the Trump administration.

Injured? Don’t Take on the Trucking Industry Alone

If a fully loaded, 80,000-pound big rig collides with your average 2,800-pound car, bad things will happen to you. You could be seriously injured, facing a long recovery period during which you cannot support your family as your bills grow. You could be crippled for life. At worst, your family has suffered the tragic loss of a loved one. As if the physical, mental and emotional obstacles weren’t enough to overcome, you are up against a trucking company that is going to shield itself from responsibility with a team of lawyers. Its insurance company will make a lowball settlement offer that is tempting because they know you are financially desperate.

Truck accident attorney Gene S. Hagood of The Law Offices of Gene S. Hagood has been fighting for the rights of people just like you in Houston, Galveston and throughout Texas for 15 years. He possesses the legal knowledge and tenacity to take on the large trucking companies, their lawyers and their insurance companies over “hours of service” violations, despite what trucking lobbyists think. Invest in your family’s future by contacting him for a free case evaluation today. You pay nothing unless he wins your case.

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With offices in Galveston and Houston, the Law Offices of Gene S. Hagood serve clients throughout Texas. Whether it’s helping injury victims in truck accidents, construction accidents or other accidents due to negligence, Attorney Hagood works tirelessly to get people the compensation they rightfully deserve.

Gene Hagood