COVID-19 Increases Risks of Trucking Accidents: Portland Lawyer Explains COVID Trucking Risks in Oregon
Truckers nationwide face a number of challenges now with COVID-19 in their view. Mainly, as the demand for supplies, such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer, has spiked dramatically, the call for more trucking activity on the roads has naturally occurred. More and more people are working from home, teaching their children, or are unfortunately sick themselves. People are increasingly ordering from the likes of Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Instacart out of shear convenience as well. This all means that more trucks are on the road and thus, more accidents will occur. As a result, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has loosened the requirements of hours of service regulations and requirements. Now that truckers can drive more under COVID regulations, our Portland lawyer explains COVID trucking risks that allow fatigued drivers to spend more time on the road.
Victims who are injured a trucking accident who have been injured by a truck driver who is fatigued could be liable for damages. Our Portland lawyer explains the COVID trucking risks and how victims and their families may be entitled to damages under Oregon law.
New Regulation Permits Truckers to Drive Longer Shifts
Additionally, the United States Department of Transportation’s (“DOT”) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”), the government entity in charge of regulating the trucking industry, passed new regulations amid the pandemic that permit more trucking activity and less restrictions on such. Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002 Under 49 CFR § 390.25 was initially passed in April and has been extended and modified several times, as recently as September 11th. Usually truckers cannot drive for more than 11 straight hours within a 14-hour workday—this regulation eliminates that. While this applies to those delivering pandemic essentials only, such as medical equipment, food, products related to sanitation, paper products, and livestock, a wide majority of the approximately 2 million truckers in the U.S. deliver these. However, if the essential goods are mixed in a truck with other non-essential goods, the trucker may still need to abide by the old rules.
While there are provisions within the recently extended regulation that aid those truckers who are fatigued from the increased hours, or just generally, concerns still exist. For example, the regulation specifies that a driver can simply inform a carrier that he or she requires rest, and consequently, the trucker must be given a ten consecutive hour break before having to return to work. Likewise, the regulation states that those truckers who are fatigued or ill in any way cannot participate in the emergency relief increase of hours. Although those are benefits, many truckers may not notify the carrier they are feeling fatigued/ill, or feel or notice that they are fatigued/ill. Some may merely want to keep driving to meet a certain quota or make a particular amount of money. Others may want to deliver their items in an expeditious manner.
Here Comes Winter
Since the regulation has been extended until December 31st, it must be taken into account that trucking activity may increase even more with the holidays and because people want to go out to stores less in the cold. With the holidays in the winter, the distribution of Amazon and other store packages will surge. Moreover, it is expected that COVID-19 will be worse during the winter and flu season—people will be staying at home and buying online even more than now. What is more unfortunately is that the road conditions will be questionable and may lead to more rollovers and related accidents.
Were You Injured in an Oregon Trucking Accident From a Trucker Who has Driven Longer Than Normally Required, We May be Able to Help
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of a trucking accident or collision contact the Oregon Truck Accident Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles, St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Trucking accident cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.
Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.