Federal Trucking Regulations Relaxed Due to COVID-19

Truck Accident

While Americans across the country are working from home, social distancing, and sheltering in place thanks to official orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, truck companies and drivers are working around the clock as the demand for essential deliveries including emergency supplies and groceries increases.

Just this past week, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that it will be temporarily loosening its hours-of-service regulations for truck drivers transporting important supplies. This is the first time in history that hours-of-service regulations have been suspended nationally.

By lifting restrictions, truck drivers no longer need to stop driving after the Federally allotted Hours of Service regulations (found in 49 CFR § 395.3) but can continue driving to make faster deliveries to essential businesses including medical suppliers, hospitals, and grocery stores. It’s important to note that according to the FMCSA, the suspension of hours-of-service regulations only applies to the truck drivers who are providing immediate emergency assistance services.

Which Truck Drivers Are Included?

If you’re a truck driver, you may qualify for this new provision if you’re carrying immediate needs like:

  • Medical supplies for COVID-19 testing and treatment
  • Medical supplies and equipment to protect healthcare workers
  • People and supplies needed to set up temporary facilities for quarantining
  • People designated as essential to quarantine, isolation, or medical procedures related to COVID-19
  • Food and beverage products for grocery stores
  • Medical professionals needed to provide emergency services

How to Prevent Truck Accidents

One potential consequence of loosened regulations is an increased risk of truck accidents. Commercial truck drivers are already known to experience driver fatigue due to their long, overnight driving shifts. Driver fatigue can cause drivers to be distracted, slowing their reaction times and allowing them to drift into other lanes and possibly onto opposing traffic. Some may worry that truck drivers may push themselves to the brink of exhaustion in order to deliver their supplies as quickly as possible.

Truck accidents are known to produce considerable property damage and inflict more serious injuries and death due to their weight and size. Serious injuries can include broken bones, burns, internal bleeding, spinal cord and neck injuries, and head and brain trauma.

Common types of truck accidents that result in injuries include:

  • Rollovers: These accidents occur when truck drivers lose control of the vehicle, causing it to roll over onto its side or roof and taking any nearby passenger vehicles with it. Drivers and passengers can become pinned in their seats and face catastrophic injuries.
  • T-bones: These accidents often occur at intersections when trucks collide with the side of another car. This can happen when cars attempt to make left turns when they don’t have the right of way, causing them to come in contact with oncoming traffic.
  • Underrides: One of the most deadly types of truck accidents, underrides occur when smaller vehicles become caught under the truck, which can happen when a truck in front brakes suddenly and doesn’t give the car behind them enough time to stop.
  • Rear-end collisions: This is the most common type of Trucking crash and is due to the truck driver not following elemental principles and happens way to often causing severe injuries and death.

Millions Recovered for Injured Clients

Whether you’ve been injured in a car or truck wreck or other type of personal injury case so long as the other party is at fault, you deserve to be compensated in a manner that is true and just. At The Law Office of Joshua W. Branch, LLC, we are dedicated to helping the injured get back on their feet and move toward a better future. Our team understands that the legal process and understands the importance of preserving evidence quickly and swiftly after a trucking crash and also our team has successfully handled a number of Trucking cases. Our skill and expertise will allow you to focus on healing and allow The Law Office of Joshua W. Branch, LLC to guide you to better days. Our long history of success in both verdicts and settlements proves our firm’s commitment to our clients.

If you or someone you love was injured in a motor vehicle accident, whether it involved a tractor-trailer, commercial vehicle or individual’s automobile, don’t hesitate to contact The Law Office of Joshua W. Branch, LLC, you can do this online or by phone at (706) 760-9220 for a free consultation. Time is of the essence in motor vehicle accident cases so that we can preserve critical evidence so don’t hesitate to call us promptly after this occurs. We are offering free video conferencing consultations and phone consultations currently due to the Covid-19 restrictions. The Law Office of Joshua W. Branch, LLC has recovered millions and millions of dollars for clients through jury trials and settlement negotiations.