Change to hours-of-service rules might lead to more trucking accidents

Changes might be coming to hours-of-service rules, which could impact the safety of West Virginia motorists.

Many industries rely on the use of semi trucks to transport their materials across West Virginia. If everything goes as planned, the vehicles are able to safely reach their destinations without any major incidents. But, when things go wrong, the sheer size of these vehicles can mean serious problems for other motorists if an accident happens.

Officials in the state are taking steps to try to improve safety for those on roadways. Recently, officers with the Public Service Commission conducted its annual random inspection campaign of truck drivers across the state. They were looking for truck drivers who had outstanding safety violations, as well as those who were operating in excess of the federal hours-of-service regulations.

Special emphasis was placed on detecting those drivers who did not have enough rest before getting behind the wheel. There has been an increase in the number of serious trucking accidents caused by fatigued drivers, and many of these collisions could be easily prevented if the operators followed the applicable rules.

The hours-of-service rules have proven to be very controversial, and the center of much debate at the federal level. Legislators are currently discussing possibly suspending these rules, because some are concerned that they are placing too many restrictions on drivers in the trucking industry.

Because truck drivers are required to take a rest period that includes two consecutive nights of sleep from 1 A.M. to 5 A.M., they feel they are being forced to drive during the day. This places them into closer contact with many more motorists on roadways, which they feel increases the risk of an accident.

It is uncertain exactly what will happen to these regulations. If changes are made, it could result in many more fatigued truck drivers, in addition to drivers who may be distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Either way, this could pose a serious problem to other motorists.

If you have been injured in a West Virginia truck accident, you might be unsure of what you need to do in order to recover compensation from the responsible parties. You may be seeing your medical costs skyrocket, and it can be hard to make ends meet if you are out of work while you are pursuing the care you need to return to health.

You should speak to an experienced personal injury attorney in your area to learn more about your possible options. Once your claims have been thoroughly investigated, your attorney will be able to protect your interests against insurers who may be aggressively trying to settle your case. This will allow you the opportunity to understand all of the potential risks that accompany these offers, and will help you make the best decisions for your future.

Keywords: hours-of-service, trucking accidents, personal injury attorney

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