California residents may have heard that federal lawmakers moved to suspend rules aimed at keeping tired truckers off the road. Specifically, the rules called for truck drivers to take two nights off after working up to 75 hours a week. Currently, drivers are required to take a 35-hour break at the end of a work week, and they were at one time required to include two periods from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. as part of that 35 hours.
However, opponents of the rule within the trucking industry got it overturned, which means that truckers can go back to work whenever their break period ends. Drivers themselves are split on whether there should be government-mandated regulations requiring them to rest after long periods on the road. One man said the rest breaks were a good thing while another said that drivers should determine when they are too tired to keep going.
In addition to rules related to when drivers must rest, safety advocates believe other regulations are in danger of being rolled back. For instance, they believe that some within the trucking industry will seek to increase weight limits in trucks to 90,000 pounds. Furthermore, Congress may also have to deal with regulatory issues related to self-driving cars. Currently, state governments create rules for their own roads with no federal standards yet in place.
Truck driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of semi truck accidents, and many people fear that these incidents will increase if safety rules are rolled back even further. Occupants of other vehicles who have been injured in a crash caused by a sleep-deprived driver may want to have legal assistance when pursuing compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages and other amounts.