Almost 5,000 people died in truck crashes in 2018. New regulations introduced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) may well increase the danger.
The new rules are due to come into effect on the Sept. 29. They will increase the time and distance that truck drivers can drive without a break. They also reclassify what counts as a break. Trucking companies can now force drivers to work through their rest period, as long as they are not behind the wheel. In other words, they have removed the downtime so essential to avoid driver fatigue.
Traffic safety bodies and labor unions have joined forces to protest against the new rules and implore the FMCSA to reconsider. They say the new rules, “failed to address the significant risk to public safety posed by fatigued drivers of CMVs at a time when large truck crashes continue to increase.”
These new rules do not benefit the truck drivers — they favor the trucking companies. By pushing for this ruling, they have made it more likely that drivers working for them cause an accident. They have sent a clear message that profit is more important than safety.
If a fatigued truck driver loses concentration or falls asleep at the wheel, they could crash into you, leaving you with severe injuries or killing you. When claiming compensation for an accident caused by a truck driver, you may also be able to claim against the trucking company. They bear a responsibility to give their drivers adequate rest.