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Congress rolls back safety rules aimed at trucker fatigue

Get ready for more tired truckers on the road

The trucking industry is celebrating this week after Congress rolled back a potentially life-saving safety measure for truckers.

Recently, the Obama administration issued regulations requiring truck drivers to take two nights off to rest if they had only taken the minimum required break (34 hours)before starting a new workweek. Republicans in Congress suspended the rule in a critical spending bill, leading some to question what's next for the trucking safety landscape.

The dangers of truck driver fatigue

Everyone knows that when you're tired, you don't function as well. This loss of concentration and reaction time are dangerous for any driver, but especially for those in control of massive commercial trucks. Long hours behind the wheel make truckers particularly vulnerable to fatigue, which can cause devastating accidents involving other motorists.

More deregulation to come?

Despite outcry from safety officials and some within the industry, trucking organizations continue to lobby for relaxed safety rules. The American Trucking Association has vowed to pursue more industry-friendly legislation once the White House changes hands, according to the LA Times. Those measures may include blocking state laws that require rest breaks beyond the federal standard.

In an industry where time is money, trucking companies have a lot to gain from loosening safety rules - even if it costs human lives. And if our lawmakers continue to prioritize the industry over human welfare, we might see more and more accidents in the coming years.

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