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Could new trucking legislation make it easier for truckers?

In many of our posts on the trucking industry, we note that semi-trucks are very dangerous because of their size, and that accidents with passenger vehicles can be deadly. Additionally, we highlight how injury victims face long roads of recovery, and how many are not compensated commensurate with their injuries.

However, we tend not to focus on the problems that lead to these accidents; namely excessive speed and fatigue. These elements are important because they factor into the time frames that truckers have to deal with in order to deliver goods by a certain time. These times may not take into account the wait times that truckers may not have any control over, and the delays caused by traffic and weather. 

Because of this, truckers may be forced to work more than what is allowed under federal guidelines, and not receive the proper rest that would keep them sharp while behind the wheel, all the while not getting paid what they deserve.

Hopefully this will change soon. The Truck Safety Act was introduced earlier this month that includes a number of provisions to make trucking safer for truck drivers and the public alike. Among them, semi-trucks would be required to have crash avoidance systems, and that truck drivers be compensated for all hours worked.

The legislation was received with mixed feelings by the American Trucking Association, which praised Congress’ interest in making highways safer while maintaining transit, but it was concerned about increases of insurance minimums.

It remains to be seen how the bill will be received in committee. 

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