Missouri drivers may be even more concerned about risks on the roadway after reports that the Trump administration is planning to roll back safety regulations in the trucking industry. Truck drivers’ hours on the job are limited by hours of service regulations. The purpose of these regulations is to prevent truck driver fatigue, a documented contributor to many serious crashes. Truck accidents are a particular danger to others on the road, because the size and weight of large trucks mean that the occupants of smaller passenger vehicles are much more likely to suffer serious injuries and even fatalities.
Despite the danger of truck crashes, the Department of Transportation is reportedly aiming to change these regulations. Under current law, truckers can only drive 11 hours as part of a 14-hour shift. They must wait 10 hours before driving again or risk being out of service and unable to work until the limitations pass. Industry groups say they want the laws to be more flexible, but safety advocates warn that this may be code for deregulation that put lives at risk on the highway. They say that large truck crashes are already on the rise. In 2017 alone, there were 4,657 fatal accidents involving semi-trucks, a 10% increase over the previous year.
The National Transportation Safety Board has highlighted the danger of truck driver fatigue, declaring it to be a “pervasive problem” that deserves focus in order to decrease the number of crashes. According to one study, 13% of truckers involved in accidents that caused fatalities or severe injuries were fatigued or asleep.
Trucking accidents can be some of the most catastrophic crashes, leading to severe injuries or even fatalities. People who have been injured due to a distracted, drowsy or negligent truck driver might work with a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation for damages.