Driver Fatigue Laws Also Need To Be Strengthened

More than 4,000 people are killed in truck collisions each year. Driver fatigue is a factor in 30 to 40 percent of these crashes. Research shows the risk of a crash increases twofold after eight hours of consecutive driving.

The proposed rules for commercial truck drivers do not provide the adequate level of protection needed to prevent driver fatigue, according to the American Association for Justice (AAJ), an organization I have belonged to for over 25 years, including its Interstate Trucking Litigation Group.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recommended a 10-hour driving time limit. However it has stated it may just keep the current 11-hour requirement.

“Driver fatigue puts not only the truck driver workforce at risk, but also other passengers who share the road. Ensuring our roads are safe should be the FMCSA’s top priority,” said AAJ President Gibson Vance.

AAJ also opposes FMCSA’s proposed 34-hour restart period, which would allow truck drivers to bypass the 60/70-hour duty limit. This 34-hour restart period cannot ensure a truck driver receives proper rest.

AAJ recommends that the FMCSA mandate a 48-hour restart requirement to provide commercial truck drivers with greater rest and recovery time after working long hours. It would also shorten the work week, meaning less fatigued drivers and safer highways.

I strongly support AAJ’s position and urge you to contact Congresswoman Kay Granger or your local representative and tell them we need stronger laws to make our roads safer.

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