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Relaxing 'Hours of Service' rules may not be a good thing

Late last month, the current presidential administration announced their plans to make changes to trucking safety regulations implemented by his predecessors. One of the first rules that the administration is looking to repeal is the Hours of Service Regulations.

When full, some of the tractor-trailers that are out there on the road weigh as much as 70,000 pounds. A passenger vehicle only weighs a fraction of that amount. It's often deadly when a semi-truck strikes a car.

Truckers are like other motorists when they get behind the wheel of a vehicle. They're often tired, distracted, intoxicated and otherwise vulnerable. According to the National Public Radio (NPR), fatigued truckers alone kill hundreds of motorists in crashes each year.

Their research shows that many of them get behind the wheel while tired because they're compensated by the mile. The more that they drive and the quicker that they get their load there, the more money that they'll make.

Under existing Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, truckers are required to take at least one half-hour break while out on the road. Even if they take a much longer recess, they're still limited to clocking out within 14 hours from when they first started driving that day.

The President's administration is reportedly pressing for the FMCSA to institute rest break exceptions. If they do, then truckers would be allowed to have more of a say in how they handle their sleep time. This could have an impact on the number of hours that they're allowed to drive during a single day.

Proponents of the change in legislation argue that this would allow truckers to avoid hazards such as rush hour, something that often limits how far they can travel during a single workday. The leader of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety argues against the rule change. She notes that fatal truck crashes have increased by 40% since 2009. She argues that regulations should, therefore, be tightened, not relaxed.

Truck crashes often cause catastrophic damages both to property and people. One of the best things that you can do if you've been seriously hurt in a crash is to reach out to a truck accidents attorney who has experience in providing dedicated representation in such cases. They'll be able to provide you with strong legal counsel if you were injured in a semi-truck accident here in Belgrade or anywhere else in Montana.

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Belgrade, MT 59714

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