Large commercial trucks are an important part of the economy in the greater Columbus area. On many heavily traveled roadways, passenger vehicle drivers and other road users are likely to share the road with large trucks.
These massive big rigs can weigh up to 80,000 lbs. For this reason, it can take them more time and distance to stop. It only takes one act of negligence or misjudgment from a trucker to cause a serious crash.
One of the leading causes of truck accidents is drowsy driving. To help combat this problem, federal lawmakers passed legislation that prohibits truck drivers from being on the road for more than 11 hours per day. It also requires truck drivers to have a 10-hour off-duty rest period between shifts.
Potential changes to federal regulations
In order to prevent truck drivers, and their companies, from inaccurately logging hours, federal law also requires all trucks to be equipped with electronic logging devices (ELDs).
With these recent changes, the pressure falls on truck drivers. In addition to meeting company deadlines, drivers must also comply with strict Hours of Service (HOS) regulations. In order to ease the pressure on drivers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is proposing changes to the HOS regulations.
If FMCSA’s proposed changes are implemented into the law, they will add up to two hours of driving time per day during dangerous driving conditions caused by inclement weather. Additionally, drivers would have the option to split their mandatory 10-hour rest period into minimum 3-hour increments.
Pros, cons of new regulations
These changes could have various pros and cons. Truck drivers who experience less pressure on the job may be less likely to speed or drive erratically. However, giving truck drivers more leeway in the amount of time they spend on the road could increase the risk of drowsy driving.
Truck drivers must still uphold their duty of care when operating a big rig. When they fail to do so, they should be held accountable.
If you or a loved one was injured in a truck accident in Columbus, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. An experienced attorney at Smith Law Office will fight for the justice you deserve.
Contact us today to find out what we can do for you. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you don’t owe us anything unless we win.