The number of hours that truckers can drive each day may soon be cut.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is considering a rule change reducing the time allowed on the road by an hour. Current rules allow truckers to spend 11 hours behind the wheel per day, with some limited exceptions.
If theÂ department approves the rule change, it would take effect in July. TheÂ agency believes reducing trucking hours would make for safer highways.
Insurance groups are supporting the change. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a nonprofit research group funded by companies such as Geico, Allstate and Progressive, cites drowsy truckers as a significant cause of highway accidents.
The American Trucking Associations oppose the rule change, noting that government statistics indicate fatal accidents involving truckers have declined.Â
Meanwhile, long-distance truckers such as Lance Wilke and Debbie Savage oppose the rule change.
"Driving is dangerous, no matter who is behind the wheel," Savage said.
"We're out here trying to make a dollar. The fuel is high andÂ ... private interest groups are stepping in there and messing with something they shouldn't be messing with," Wilke said.
"If you saw what we saw," Savage continued, "half the people on the roads would lose their license."
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