Lawmakers Seek To Reinstate Longer Work Weeks For Truck Drivers
13 June 2014No Comments
In the midst of the uproar over the allegedly drowsy Wal-Mart truck driver that was involved in the horrific six-car pileup with Tracy Morgan’s chauffeured limo bus last weekend, and less than one year after caps were put on the number of hours a truck driver can spend on the road, U.S. senators are calling for the industry to reinstate longer work weeks for America’s truck drivers. If you have been injured in a trucking accident in Corpus Christi, or elsewhere in Texas, and you believe a drowsy driver to be at fault, consult our skilled trucking accident attorneys at Bandas Law Firm to discuss your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and medical bills, which our experienced lawyers can help you pursue.
Restricting Truck Driver Work Weeks
In July 2013, legislation was passed that restricted U.S. truck drivers to only 70 hours behind the wheel each week, but some Republican senators and the trucking industry are arguing that this has put more big-rigs on the road and increased congestion. They are now calling for a reinstatement of the industry’s 82-hour work week for truck drivers, which is more than double that of the average American worker. The amendment, which would suspend parts of the new truck driver rule for one year, has already been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee, according to a press release issued last week by the American Trucking Association.
Dangers of Truckers Driving While Fatigued
The Hours-of-Service of Drivers rule effectively restricts the amount of hours per week a truck driver can spend on the road to 70 hours, and also requires that two rest periods be taken between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. over two consecutive days. According to a study published earlier this year by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), truck drivers who get two consecutive nights of rest suffer fewer nighttime lapses than those who only have one, and a reduction in working hours could prevent 1,400 trucking accidents and 19 deaths each year. This information proves especially important now, in the wake of the deadly trucking accident last weekend that killed comedian James McNair and critically injured actor and comedian Tracy Morgan and two others.
Tracy Morgan Critically Injured in Truck Accident
According to the accident reports, Morgan, his manager and several other comedians were traveling in Morgan’s chauffeured Mercedes limo bus on the New Jersey Turnpike on June 7, when an allegedly drowsy Wal-Mart truck driver failed to slow for traffic. The trucker swerved at the last minute to avoid a collision, but instead smashed into the back of Morgan’s limo bus, causing a devastating six-car pileup on the highway. The truck driver has since been charged with death by auto and four counts of assault by auto in the fatal trucking accident, and authorities have reported that he was operating the 18-wheeler “without having slept for a period in excess of 24 hours” prior to the wreck.
Our Trucking Accident Lawyers Can Help
Trucking accidents occur far too often in Texas and throughout the United States, resulting in tens of thousands of injuries and thousands of deaths every year. If you have suffered serious injuries in a Texas trucking accident, or if you lost a loved one in a fatal accident with a commercial truck, contact our knowledgeable lawyers at Bandas Law Firm today for legal help. You may have grounds to file a personal injury or wrongful death suit against the driver found at-fault in the trucking accident, in order to pursue financial compensation for your losses.