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Photo of Joshua Nielsen
Photo of Joshua Nielsen

Coronavirus leads FMCSA to ease trucker hours rule

On Behalf of | Mar 23, 2020 | car accidents

Many people may worry about the dangers they face on the roads when they are near a semi-truck. These fears are not without some legitimacy as the sheer size and weight of these big rigs can certainly contribute to extreme outcomes if and when an accident occurs involving a semi-truck. From brake failure to driver distractions and more, there are numerous factors that may contribute to these accidents. Trucker fatigue is one factor that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration tackled when it enacted its Hours of Service rule.

The Hours of Service rule placed a limit on the number of hours a commercial driver could work and drive each day, allowing slightly more working hours than driving hours. The rule also placed a similar set of limits on the working and driving hours for each work week. The goal of the rule was clearly to limit fatigue among drivers as a means of improving safety on the roads.

According to Transport Topics, the Hours of Service rule has now been lifted in select situations as a way of helping provide relief in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. Truck drivers who transport select types of goods and personnel may be exempt from the guidelines of this rule.

Some examples of products included in the recent declaration include fuel, food, coronavirus test kits, medical supplies used for treating patients and more. Personnel being delivered to aid with the testing of patients or to set up quarantine areas may also be delivered by drivers exempt from the Hours of Service rule guidelines.