Fort Worth Personal Injury Law Firm Warns about Dangers of Extending Allowable Work Hour Rules for Truck Drivers
February 02, 2008 (PRLEAP.COM) Business NewsAttorneys from the Fort Worth personal injury law firm of Laird & Cummings, P.C., are warning drivers about the U.S. Department of Transportation's intent on maintaining a controversial rule that allows commercial truck drivers to work up to 11 continuous hours behind the wheel and 88 hours during an 8-day period. The proposal also requires only a 34-hour minimum off duty period between the end of one week and the start of another.
This hours-of-service rule allows truck drivers to work as many as 17 more hours a week than previous standards, says attorney Steve C. Laird, partner in the Fort Worth law firm, However, the public should realize that these standards are currently in effect despite legal challenges, and are not likely to be changed in the foreseeable future.
Nearly 5,000 people were killed in crashes on U.S. roads involving large trucks in 2006, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The National Transportation Safety Board and other respected highway safety research groups have found that nearly 40 percent of big truck accidents are due to fatigue. Studies show that extended periods without sleep can slow reaction times by as much as 50 percent, which is the same as having a .05 percent blood alcohol level.
If a typical American work week is 40 hours, why should we allow a job with life or death consequences to more than double that? says Laird. This attempt to maintain the status quo can compromise not only the health of the driver but can endanger the lives of others on the road.
Laird & Cummings, P.C. is a Fort Worth, Texas personal injury law firm that represents individual and families in cases involving personal injury, wrongful death, trucking accidents, construction site accidents, products liability and business litigation. Visit the firm's Web site at www.texlawyers.com.