In the tug of war between the trucking industry and road safety advocates over the number of drivable hours in the day, it looks like the trucking industry is on the cusp of scoring a major victory. The Associated Press reported this week that the U.S. Department of Transportation is preparing to relax regulations surrounding how long truck drivers are able to be on the road before taking a break.
As reported by U.S. News, the possibility of loosed regulations is thanks in large part to the good relationship between the Trump administration and the American Trucking Association, who have been calling for the regulations to be relaxed.
While the American Trucking Association believes that relaxed regulation would lead to increased productivity and profitability, safety advocates are not sure that the benefits would outweigh the costs of having truckers on the roads for longer hours.
"While the trucking industry has long been fighting to relax the federal guidelines that limit how long drivers can stay on the road before stopping to rest, safety advocates warn that the move would weaken the regulations too much, leading to safety hazards that come with driver fatigue."
As U.S. News points out, the number of collisions involving large commercial vehicles on the rise, with a reported 10% increase from last year. Fatigue has long been a primary concern when it comes to the safety of trucks on the roads, with many truck drivers already working long hours. Increasing the amount of hours that truck drivers can be on the road would likely only exacerbate the increase in collisions that has been seen in the past year.
As of yet, there has been no official move to relax regulations, but this is certainly that safety advocates and other concerned parties will be keeping a close eye on in the near future. For more on this story and on the rise in collisions involving commercial vehicles, check out the original article on U.S. News.