Semitruck drivers must comply with the hours of service regulations when they’re moving cargo or people. The 82-year-old law limits cargo hauling truckers to no more than 11 hours behind the wheel until they take a break that’s at least 10 hours. There haven’t been exceptions at the federal level to this rule in the past; however, President Trump has recently waived the time limits for some truckers who are hauling items essential for dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.
The waiver doesn’t apply to all truckers. Instead, there are certain categories of cargo that are exempted from the law. These include things like medical supplies and medications, as well as cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and similar items that consumers need to help address the situation. Truckers who are carrying food items needed for emergency restocking are also exempted.
While it’s easy to see why the waiver is necessary, there is also a safety standpoint to think about. The longer hours on the roadways enable more goods to flow around the country. The issue is that the truckers might try to push themselves for too long, which can lead to fatigue while they’re driving.
Fatigued truckers can cause crashes. Each semitruck wreck is fully preventable if they would have stopped when they noticed signs of fatigue. If you’re involved in a crash with a fatigued trucker, you might suffer serious injuries. This can lead you to the hospital and require long-term care.
You do have the option of seeking compensation for the financial damages. A civil claim against the liable parties, some of which might go beyond only the trucker, can help to limit the impact the incident has on your finances.