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Truck Driver Rest Requirements Changed

Steve Wagner

We’ve done our best to keep you informed on the latest information regarding trucking laws and regulations, especially pertaining to the rules implemented about the schedules of drivers, and their required break times.

New legislation has been passed, (repealed, in a more literal sense) that revokes the requirement for two of the sleep periods in the mandatory 34-hour break time to be fulfilled during 1am-5am slots. The 34-hour break law was passed in an effort to require truck drivers to get two full nights of sleep in-between long work weeks, specifically those clocking in at 70 hours or more.

The rule, which was implemented in 2013, required that these long breaks be taken every seven days. Since Congress has removed the two 1am-5am periods as part of the requirements for the rest time, more and more truck drivers are taking advantage of the night time driving freedom, but more and more are driving tired and not getting adequate amounts of rest between shifts.

Many drivers are even taking advantage of the law change in worse ways, taking more frequent 34-hour breaks, and working absurd amounts of hours in-between; sometimes taking two 34-hour breaks within the same week, and working 80+ hours between those breaks. They are using the 34-hours as a “restart” to their work week, and squeezing in as many hours as possible.

The danger that comes with these decrease restrictions is that it puts more tired truck drivers on the road, and not only tired drivers, but drivers hauling large, often dangerous loads. While corporate trucking companies argue that clearing drivers off the roads during more daylight hours decreases the amount of risk for civilian drivers and pedestrians, the statistics of truck-related accidents are still terrifying.

  • 4000 people are killed each year in semi truck accidents
  • 100,000 people are injured in trucking accidents each year
  • The cost of truck accidents rings in at over $99 billion for the American people every year

How do you feel about Congress revoking the requirement for the consecutive overnight rest periods for truck drivers? While it does have the potential to eliminate some congestion from our roadways during the days, we don’t believe that the drivers will get adequate amounts of rest to compensate for the amount of injuries potentially removed because of night time driving.

If you or a loved one have been injured by a semi truck accident, give the attorneys at Wagner Reese a call for more information. Our truck accident lawyers can sit down with you in a free consultation and discuss your injury, your potential case, and the possibility you may have for compensation as a result of your injury or the loss of a loved one. Give us a call today at (888) 204-8440.

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