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Feds to Reduce Hours for Semi Drivers, Increasing Safety for All on U.S. Highways

You get in your car to drive to your parents' house for a Thanksgiving visit. You moved away from home decades ago, and now every trip to your old home takes 10 hours each way. You give yourself 15 or 16 hours for the trip. Hey, you figure, that may be a full day spent en route, but no one could safely drive for 10 hours straight. Right?

You obviously aren't a commercial truck or bus driver.

Federal regulations permit operators of interstate freight trucks to spend up to 11 hours behind the wheel without taking a break. Bus drivers taking passengers across state lines can drive for the 10 uninterrupted hours you would never contemplate.

Believe it or not, federal regulators have tried three times since 2003 to lengthen the legal limit of hours of service for tractor trailer and bus drivers. Two attempted change were invalidated by federal judges who determined that the risks of driver fatigue outweighed any benefits from letting commercial drivers stay on the road longer. Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration agreed to vacate the latest revised hours of service rule and draft new standards that would shorten permissible driving shifts in separate 24-hour periods and impose longer rests between multiday trips.
Tired truckers and bus drivers cause hundreds of highway fatalities and injuries each year. The only cure for fatigue is rest. As a lawyer who specializes in representing victims of accidents involving tractor trailers and other commercial vehicles, I welcome the move to require more rest for those who do the most driving.

About the Editors: Shapiro & Appleton& Duffan is a law firm which focuses on injury and accident law, and our attorneys have experience handling truck accident cases. Check out our case results to see for yourself. Our primary office is in Virginia Beach, Virginia (VA), but our lawyers hold licenses in NC, SC, WV, KY and DC. We are ready to talk to you by phone right now, and we provide free initial confidential injury case consultations. Call us toll free at 1-800-752-0042. Our injury attorneys also host an extensive injury law video library on Youtube. Furthermore, our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard and Norfolk Injuryboard as pro bono public information services.

EJL
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