The coronavirus pandemic caused by COVID-19 has impacted communities far and wide. The virus has taken over the country in force, infecting hundreds of thousands and killing over 45,000 Americans since February 29.
As a result, many hospitals and essential businesses have been overwhelmed by the sudden increased demand for medical treatment and household goods.
The federal government has responded to this increased demand by suspending hours-of-service regulations that controlled how many hours truckers could drive in a day. We discuss the potential implications of this decision below.
FMCSA Suspends Hours-of-Service Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is an agency in the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) that regulates the trucking industry in the U.S. The agency’s main objective is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.
One of the ways the agency worked to achieve this goal was with hours-of-service regulations. These regulations stated that a truck driver could drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.
Recently, the FMCSA suspended hours-of-service regulations in an effort to get more goods and services delivered to the medical facilities and essential businesses that need them. While the suspension of hours-of-service regulations is understandable, it also brings into question the safety of the nation’s roads now that truck drivers can drive uninhibited.
Truck driver fatigue is a major factor in truck accidents, and now that this regulation has been suspended, it’s highly likely that more truckers will drive past their safe limit. Additionally, dozens of truck stops across the country have been closed down, giving truckers even fewer places to rest when they so choose.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, our North Carolina personal injury attorneys are here to help. Contact Lanier Law Group, P.A. today at (855) 757-4204 to schedule a free consultation with our team.