Trucking Safety: 82 Hour Workweek Unsafe

Current law limits the hours over the road truckers can work to 70 hours. The GOP has proposed to change the law and “restart rule” to permit truckers to work 82 hours a week. This ill-advised legislation comes on the heels of the deadly tractor-trailer accident that seriously injured comedian Tracy Morgan. The current provisions took effect in July 2013 and require:

(1) Limiting the maximum average work week for truck drivers to 70 hours, a decrease from the previous maximum of 82 hours;
(2) Allowing truck drivers who reach the maximum 70 hours of driving within a week to resume if they rest for 34 consecutive hours, including at least two nights when their body clock demands sleep the most – from 1-5 a.m., and;
(3) Requires truck drivers to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of a shift.

Safety advocacy groups cite opinion polls that “dramatically” and “overwhelmingly” demonstrate that the public is opposed to truckers being able to increase their work week from 70 to 82 hours.The groups were Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety; the Truck Safety Coalition, Lake Research Partners, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways and the Inlemationa] Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Current laws should not be weakened to permit fatigued truck drivers to drive 18 wheelers, as the Wal Mart-Tracy Morgan crash so clearly demonstrates. If you need legal advice from a Tennessee trucking accident Nashville tractor-trailer lawyer with the experience to handle trucking fatigue, trucking/tractor-trailer accident or death cases, click here to contact us for a confidential case review.