Texas Truck Wreck Attorneys Applaud Inclusion of Studies in Hours-of-Service Debate

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Four additional research papers emphasize that stricter rules are needed to prevent wrecks caused by tired truckers, Houston personal injury lawyers Jason Itkin and Kurt Arnold say.

Texas truck accident lawyer, Houston tractor-trailer wreck attorney, Harris County 18-wheeler crash lawsuit, Texas personal injury law firm, big rigs, semis, fatigued driving, FMCSA, hours of service regulations

Houston maritime lawyer Jason Itkin

We are committed to an hours-of-service rule that will help create an environment where commercial truck drivers are rested, alert and focused on safety while on the job.

Motorists in Texas and other states face an unnecessary risk of serious injury due to wrecks caused by fatigued truck drivers —a risk that could be reduced if the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration passes tougher hours-of-service requirements for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operators, Texas truck accident attorney Jason Itkin said today.

Itkin lauded the FMCSA’s decision last week to enter four additional studies into the official docket for a proposed change to the Hours of Service Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

“These four studies underscore how important it is for the administration to reform the hours-of-service regulations to protect drivers in Texas and around the country from wrecks caused by truckers who have driven to the point of exhaustion,” said Itkin, a partner in Arnold & Itkin, LLP, a Houston law firm that represents motorists injured in crashes involving tractor-trailers and other commercial motor vehicles.

“Innocent motorists and their families face grave consequences — including accidents that result in injury or death — when fatigued big rig drivers get behind the wheel,” he said.

The studies, which were prepared by commercial motor vehicle experts nationwide, found that current regulations are insufficient to curtail accidents caused by tired 18-wheeler drivers and operators of other commercial vehicles like trucks and buses.

One study emphasized that the hours-of-service rules should increase their focus on not just the amount of time CMV drivers spend on the road, but also how their drive time interacts with other work they perform on the job. Another study focused on how breaks can help reduce the number of CMV accidents. A third study looked at the role scheduling plays when it comes to curtailing wrecks.

“A fatigued driver has no place behind the wheel of a large commercial truck,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in a news release. “We are committed to an hours-of-service rule that will help create an environment where commercial truck drivers are rested, alert and focused on safety while on the job.”

Kurt Arnold, a Houston truck injury lawyer and partner of Arnold & Itkin, reinforced that idea.

“We must do more to prevent the tragedies caused by tired commercial motor vehicle operators who take to the road, putting themselves and others at risk of a serious accident,” he said.

As an attorney who frequently represents the victims of crashes involving tractor-trailers and other commercial motor vehicles, Arnold said he knows well the devastation that such life-changing accidents can have.

“Far too often I work with the families of victims whose tragic deaths or serious injuries could have been avoided if not for an accident caused by a commercial motor vehicle operator who was simply too tired to drive safely,” said Arnold.

Both Itkin and Arnold said the FMCSA’s decision to include the four additional studies and extend the comment period to review their contents is a positive development in the effort to keep motorists safe from accidents caused by fatigued CMV drivers.

“We stand behind the regulatory efforts to prevent exhausted truck and bus drivers from becoming a danger to themselves and other motorists,” Itkin said, “but until the roads of Texas and the rest of the country become completely safe, we are here to help victims of accidents caused by trucking companies that push their drivers to the limit and beyond.”

About Arnold & Itkin LLP

The Texas truck accident attorneys of Arnold & Itkin LLP are committed to helping Texans injured in highway crashes involving large commercial trucks, tractor-trailers and 18-wheelers, including cases involving drowsy driving, excessive speeding, intoxicated driving, improper maintenance or improperly secured or spilled loads. The Houston, Texas-based law firm’s personal injury lawyers represent truck accident victims throughout Texas, including Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Beaumont, Galveston, Corpus Christi, Baytown, Texas City and Port Arthur. H Texas Magazine has named the firm “Top Lawyers for the People” three years in a row. To learn more about the firm’s Texas truck accident lawyers, call (877) 399-9820 or use the firm’s online contact form.

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