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Proposed changes to trucker drive times could endanger public

There are rules and regulations currently in place that require New Jersey and the nation’s commercial truck drivers to rest every so often, and these rules exist to help prevent fatigued driving and improve public safety as a result. At Escandon, Fernicola, Anderson, Covelli and McPherson, we understand the current administration is considering loosening up the rules governing trucker drive times, and we also recognize how doing so could potentially endanger everyone else on the roadway.

According to the Associated Press, many business owners and others with interests in the trucking industry have long desired a more relaxed ruleset governing trucker drive times, and many drivers have too, hoping that relaxing the rules would give them more flexibility. Opponents to relaxing the rules, though, argue that commercial truck crashes are already on the rise, and that anything that could lead truck drivers to put in even longer days poses a serious threat to public safety.

In 2017, for example, 4,657 commercial truckers had a hand in fatal truck crashes, which is a 10% increase over the numbers for 2016. Also, a study involving fatigued driving in the trucking industry revealed that it played a role in about 13% of all truck accidents that ultimately lead to at least one injury or fatality.

Therefore, it makes sense that truckers who spend more hours behind the wheel would be more likely to cause truck crashes, with the National Transportation Safety Board noting that fatigued driving is already a “pervasive problem” in the industry. You can learn more about truck crashes by visiting our webpage.

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