Lawsuits against trucking companies, owner-operators and insurers are rampant in today’s news. Administrators and legislators have worked tirelessly to develop regulations like hours-of-service rules that increase the safety of everyone on the highway. The most recent changes to HOS regulations also have the potential to make compliance easier for the driver, thus reducing violations that could turn up as evidence in a liability claim. 

At the beginning of this month, the White House Office of Management and Budget received this final proposal for review, according to TruckingInfo.com. The exact details of the submission are unknown, but the original August 2019 proposal contained the following adjustments: 

  • Drivers of trucks outfitted with sleeper compartments could break up the required off-duty rest shift from 10 hours into smaller segments 
  • Drivers who run into inclement weather or other unsuitable conditions can increase their on-duty limit to 16 hours 
  • Reviewers will discuss the current mandatory 30-minute rest after driving for eight consecutive hours 
  • Short-haul driver on-duty limits will increase to match the 14-hour limitation for long-haul drivers 

TruckingInfo.com also reports that during nationwide hearings in which the FMCSA attempted to reconcile safety regulations with drivers’ concerns, thousands of truckers were able to share their opinions. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration then proposed these changes, which it said are “directly based on the feedback FMCSA has received from drivers across the country.” 

With the increase in schedule flexibility that drivers would have with this new rule, the hope is that safety violations and accidents will continue to decline. An attorney with experience in liability claims may help trucking company owners determine what effect this could have on their businesses.