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Relaxed regulations may lead to more sleepy truckers on the road

During the winter, the specter of truck accidents is high given how much snow and ice can impact road conditions. Indeed, snow plows can help alleviate dicey conditions, but when it comes to drivers being awake and alert, there may be additional problems brewing as the federal government moves to adjust hours of service regulations on a temporary basis.

Essentially, truck drivers were prohibited from working more than 82 hours per week as part of new safety guidelines implemented two years ago. The number of working hours included the hours that a driver could be behind the wheel before taking a break significant enough to "restart the clock" for drivers so that they may begin a new work week. 

However, as the federal government lifts these regulations (ostensibly to study the effect of trucks on the road during peak hours) it remains to be seen whether there will be more fatigued drivers on the road. After all, a number of truck accidents have been found to be attributable to drowsy truckers, especially the accident that severely injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed one of his friends in a horrific crash last summer.

As such, we must reiterate the duty that truck drivers have when it comes to using reasonable care while behind the wheel. Aside from refraining from using electronic devices and abstaining from alcohol use, truckers must be alert and awake. Should fatigue be found to be the cause of an accident, an offending driver could be held liable. This could also leave a trucking company responsible as well. 

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