Commercial truck drivers in Texas should be aware that the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has proposed a major change in break times for 14-hour work clocks. The association has submitted a petition to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requesting that drivers are able to have up to three straight off-duty hours during the 14 hours they are working. It is asking that drivers be allowed to pause their daily work clock and that the 30-minute rest time requirement that is currently in place be eliminated.
According to the petition that the association submitted, the current regulations are excessively complicated. They offer no alternatives that take into account the physical restrictions and capabilities of individual drivers. The regulations compel drivers to get on the road when they are exhausted at peak travel times and in road and weather conditions that are not safe.
Drivers are currently required to go on break for one 30-minute period during the first eight hours of their workday. They are not permitted to stop or pause their 14-hour work period.
If the proposal submitted by the OOIDA was enacted, there would be no 30-minute break requirement, and drivers would be permitted to pause their 14-hour work clock and take a break for up to three consecutive hours. They would still have to take off at least 10 straight hours before they could begin their new work period.
Individuals who are injured in 18-wheeler accidents that were caused by truck driver fatigue may be legally entitled to financial damages. An attorney who practices personal injury law may evaluate the factors surrounding the accident and file multiple lawsuits against the negligent parties. A truck driver who operated a commercial truck while drowsy or engaged in other negligent driving behavior may be held liable for crush injuries or lost wages.