Connecticut's two U.S. Senators are smack dab in the middle of a debate spiking in intensity. Generally, minor legislation meant to tweak federal trucking regulations would not garner much attention from the media, or even lawmakers themselves. These so-called minor tweaks, however, have become a lightning rod, following the high-profile truck accident, involving comedian and actor Tracy Morgan.
Last month, a truck driver who had not slept in over 24 hours rammed into the back of Morgan's vehicle at highway speeds. One person in Morgan's entourage was killed, while the comedian himself sustained life-changing injuries. While such an accident would seem to spur legislators to heighten federal protections, the current bill before Congress would actually increase the amount of time a trucker could be out on the road.
Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal suggested the proposed law is being driven by a trucking industry dead set on increasing profits at the expense of safety. If approved, the legislation would increase the amount of time a driver can spend on the road to 82 hours in an eight day period.
It is not hard to imagine how such a change would increase truck driver fatigue and result in more accidents. This is especially harrowing given the fact that truck accidents have already increased by 40% over the past few years.
While Washington debates the merits of the bill, local Hartford residents will continue to put their lives on the line every time they merge onto the highway. While defensive driving may reduce the possibility of an accident, there is often nothing one can do when a 10 ton semi is running out of control. Those injured in such instances have recourse, no matter the state of federal regulations. By contacting a local Hartford attorney, truck accident victims can recoup the monetary loss caused by reckless business interests.
Source: WTNH, "Morgan crash sparks debate over trucker fatigue," Mark Davis, June 20, 2014