The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has asked that changes be made to current hours of service regulations. It wants to do away with a 30-minute rest break as well to allow drivers to pause their 14-hour service clock. The association believes that the rules as currently written lack flexibility and don’t take into account individual driver abilities or limitations. As of now, drivers in North Carolina and elsewhere must stop for 30 minutes within the first eight hours of their shift.
However, drivers would still be required to stay off the road for 10 consecutive hours between shifts. According to the OOIDA, making these changes would make roads safer for commercial drivers and passenger vehicles alike. The OOIDA has asked that its petition be put into the Federal Register and for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to create a rulemaking.
The OOIDA’s petition is not the only proposal that would give drivers more flexibility while on the road. The FMCSA has considered allowing drivers to split their hours into several segments. This is known as split-sleep arrangement, but it is unknown if or when such a rule would come to pass. In 2017, a rule that would limit drivers to one 34-hour restart a week as well as their ability to drive between 1 a.m and 5 a.m was eliminated by Congress.
If truck driver fatigue plays a role in an accident, that driver may be considered negligent in causing the crash. This may allow injured victims to obtain compensation for their injuries. Compensation may help to pay medical bills or make up for lost wages and future earnings.