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Some seek to roll back trucking regulations regarding rest breaks

All motor vehicle accidents have the potential to result in devastating injuries. The odds of that happening increase greatly when trucks are involved. This is due to a variety of reasons including the difference in size between most cars and tractor trailers.

The trucking industry plays an important role in the transportation of goods, not only in the state of Wisconsin, but throughout the nation. To try to keep the industry as safe as possible for not only the truck drivers but all who are on the road, it is heavily regulated by the federal government. These regulations include limits for how many hours a truck driver can be on the road.

In July of last year each truck driver’s workweek was limited to 70 hours. Upon reaching that number of work hours each driver is required to take 34 hours off before driving again. Prior to this change each driver could go for 82 hours before an extended break was required. Unsurprisingly, the industry was not pleased with the change. It is currently taking steps to have that rule suspended.

In support of this suspension the industry alleges that the regulation had unintended results that actually make things worse for all drivers on the road. For example, it asserts that the rest rules make it more likely that trucks will be on the roads during the day, contributing to congestion on the roads. It also claims that drivers miss out on hours of paid work because of having to wait for the rest period to run.

The amendment that would suspend the regulation is under consideration by the Senate Appropriations Committee and is expected to be voted on this week. Regardless of the outcome, should someone be injured or killed in an accident involving a truck, it may be possible to obtain monetary compensation via a lawsuit. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer is generally the best place to start.

Source: The Insurance Journal, “Some Trucking Firms Want Congress to Ease Safety Limit on Truckers’ Hours,” Jeff Plungis, June 5, 2014

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