Extended Driving Hours for Truck Drivers – Is That Good?
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today they would be temporarily waiving restrictions on truck drivers hauling propane gas and heating oil. Under normal conditions, a truck driver is required to take a mandatory rest break after 11 hours of service. The PennDOT waiver extends that to 14 hours, to give truck drivers more time to deliver their cargo to local businesses.
There is also a rule in place that limits a truck driver to 60 hours of driving time over a period of seven consecutive days and a rule to require the driver to stop if 70 hours are reached within eight consecutive days. This is referred to as the 60/70-hour rule, and like the 11 hour mandatory break, this too has been granted an exemption.
Fatigued Truck Drivers Are Not Safe
Anyone can suffer from fatigue, and a semi-truck driver is no different. That is why there are laws in place to limit the time a driver is behind the wheel of a big-rig. Driving a semi, tractor trailer, or 18-wheeler is tough work, and requires absolute concentration. So, it is definitely concerning that PennDOT would extend the allowable service hours for truck drivers who are obviously carrying very hazardous materials.
Why Not Hire More Drivers?
Good Question. One argument for not hiring more drivers may be that it simply takes a long time for a driver to be certified to carry hazardous cargo. Perhaps there just aren’t enough drivers out there with this certification. Whatever the reason, that hasn’t been discussed, at least not openly.
More Winter Weather Expected in PA
The forecast for this evening is for more single digit temperatures across Eastern PA and most of new Jersey. Thursday and Friday are expected to be even colder. Of course, we need heating oil and propane to keep us from freezing, but it is a scary proposition to think that truckers are going beyond their normal limits to achieve that goal. Please be extra careful driving in the next few days, winter squalls are common this time of year as the lake effect wreaks it’s havoc.
Be Safe, Arrive Alive
If a snow squall kicks up while you’re driving, you may become unable to see more than a few feet in front of your vehicle. If this happens, PULL OVER and turn on your hazard lights. If you can’t see in front of you, you may not have time to stop if there is someone else stopped in the middle of the roadway. Be safe, take your time (allow for more time too), and arrive at your destination alive.
Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyers Here To Help
As Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers, we see too many innocent people injured by the negligence of another. With a bit of care, many of the truck accidents we see could have been avoided altogether. If you are unfortunate enough to be injured in a car accident, Handler Henning and Rosenberg offers you an experienced legal team of car accident attorneys to fight for your rights to compensation. There are time limits to file personal injury or car accident claims, so please don’t delay, it could hurt your case. Our law office offers a Free Case Evaluation to get started right away.
If you or a loved one has been injured by the negligence of another, please contact our law firm today. You have rights and may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.