Last week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration handed a Christmas gift to trucking safety groups and Kansas City accident lawyers. It issued a regulatory proposal that would reduce the Hours of Service rule requirements for all commercial truck drivers. The proposal also includes more numbers of rest breaks, and as a Kansas City truck accident attorney, I believe that in the long run, the reduced work hours will minimize the number of fatigue-related accidents.
The proposal would require that all commercial truck drivers finish their driving within a 14-hour work window. The proposal would also require that the truck driver complete all on-duty activities within a 13-hour window. The FMCSA has invited public comment on a provision in the proposals that would reduce from 11 hours to 10 hours the amount of daily drive time that a truck driver spends behind the wheel.
It should be no surprise to any Kansas City truck accident lawyer that the American Trucking Associations is opposed to the new FMCSA proposal to reduce work-hour rules for truck drivers. According to the association, the new rules would significantly impact trucker efficiency and productivity.
A limitation on the number of hours that a truck driver can drive consecutively, is a step towards ridding the highways of fatigued and drowsy drivers. The impact of drowsy driving has been in the headlines recently, after a study found that one out of six fatal accidents in the US involves a drowsy driver.