The coronavirus pandemic rages on in America. The Centers for Disease Control reports that almost two million people have become sick with COVID-19. It is believed that the actual community spread of the illness might be much higher. Due to continued COVID-19 activity across the country, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has extended emergency provisions that have relaxed hours of service requirements for some truck drivers transporting essential safety equipment, COVID-19 tests, and other services deemed essential. This means that drivers may be able to extend their driving time beyond the typical 14-hour period if the driver is transporting essential equipment.
What does this mean for individuals who have been hurt in a truck accident in Nashville, Tennessee? Victims of truck accidents sometimes are able to sue truck companies or drivers when they violate federal hours of service laws. George R. Fusner, Jr. is a truck accident law firm in Nashville, Tennessee that works with victims and their families who have been hurt in these crashes. While some truck drivers may have increased flexibility, the emergency orders do not apply to all drivers, and the emergency orders still do not permit drivers to get behind the wheel while fatigued. Let’s explore what these emergency orders mean and what you can do if you or someone you love was hurt in a truck accident in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s COVID-19 Emergency Orders for Truck Drivers
What is considered essential transportation services under the emergency order? The emergency declaration is limited to the transportation of livestock and livestock feed, testing supplies for COVID-19, and medical equipment and sanitation supplies including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap, and other disinfectant. It is important to note that drivers carrying only small amounts of essential equipment or mixed loads may not qualify under the emergency declaration.
However, it is important to note that drivers are still not permitted to get behind the wheel while tired, fatigued, or sick, even if they are transporting loads deemed necessary under the emergency order. Drivers must still follow the law regarding obeying speed limits, not drinking alcohol, and using hands free devices while behind the wheel. Drivers are still barred from getting behind the wheel if they are so tired that they might pose a safety hazard to themselves or others. Drivers who are so sick that they might pose a safety hazard to themselves or others are also barred from getting behind the wheel. Truck companies are still not permitted to allow fatigued drivers to get behind the wheel and if a fatigued driver requests a break, companies are still required to provide a 10-hour break to the driver. This means that while the federal hours of service laws have been relaxed, they have not eliminated the requirement that drivers not get behind the wheel while tired and they don’t permit truck companies to push their drivers to exhaustion.
Truck drivers are working extra hard to make sure that our communities have the safety equipment we need and the supplies we need, often at personal risk to themselves and their families. They have expressed concerns about disruptions to their ability to take breaks because of restaurant and rest stop closures. The services that truck drivers need to eat and take breaks are not as robust as they once were due to the COVID-19 emergency. Despite this, truck drivers continue to work hard and take steps to stay safe. However, if you or someone you love has been hurt in a truck accident, you may also have the right to seek damages for your injuries and losses. Truck companies still have a responsibility to make sure drivers are not so tired behind the wheel that they are impaired. George R. Fusner, Jr. is a truck accident law firm in Nashville, Tennessee that can help you if you or someone you love was hurt in a truck accident due to a fatigued driver.
George R. Fusner, Jr. May Be Able to Help Truck Accident Victims in Nashville, Tennessee
Truck companies are required to hold high value insurance policies and take steps to keep drivers and the general public safe. When drivers cut corners or when companies pressure drivers to work longer hours, the risk for truck accidents can increase. If you or someone you love was hurt in a truck accident in Nashville, Tennessee, George R. Fusner, Jr. is a truck accident law firm that may be able to help you. Our truck accident lawyers can review the details of your case, review current laws, and fight to help you get the settlement you may deserve. Reach out to George R. Fusner, Jr. today or connect with USAttorneys.com to get matched with a truck accident lawyer at our law firm.