Young & McCarthy LLP

Truck accident fatality surge prompts calls for HOS revisions

Truck drivers in Ohio and around the country rushing to complete their journeys before a 30-minute rest break becomes mandatory are contributing to a worrying rise in commercial vehicle accident fatalities according to several industry groups. The break is required by federal hours of service rules that are designed to prevent fatigue and drowsy driving crashes, but many truck drivers say that they encourage them to exceed posted speed limits and place other road users in danger.

While overall traffic accident fatalities fell slightly in 2017, the number of road users killed in crashes involving semi-tractor trailers rose by a sobering 9 percent to 4,761. This is the largest truck accidents death toll in almost three decades according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. However, claims that this increase may be partly caused by hours of service rules seem tenuous. While the number of deadly commercial vehicle accidents has increased in recent years, the number of tractor-trailer crashes blamed on excessive speed has actually fallen.

Federal hours of service regulations are the purview of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the government watchdog has announced no immediate plans to change them. However, the FMCSA is currently evaluating more than 5,000 suggestions for revising the rules that it has received from members of the public, trade groups and truck drivers.

When road users are injured in truck accidents caused by fatigue, experienced personal injury attorneys pursuing civil remedies on their behalf will usually file lawsuits against the negligent truck drivers involved. However, their employers could also face litigation if driver logs or other records reveal that violations of federal safety regulations have been routinely tolerated or even encouraged. Attorneys may also take legal action against truck operators when accidents are blamed on unsafe commercial vehicles that have been poorly maintained or repaired in a slipshod manner.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Contact the firm

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Sharp law

Young & McCarthy LLP
31387 Lorain Road
Cleveland, OH 44070

Toll Free: 866-541-2220
Fax: 216-647-0458
Map & Directions

Review Us