Matthew Slattery, 14, is confined to a wheelchair after a triple tractor-trailer slammed into the car of his Cockeysville, Md., family last year in Ohio. The crash killed his mother.
The truck driver had fallen asleep behind the wheel.
The Slatterys and others are fighting for a proposal to lower the number of consecutive hours truck drivers can spend on the road from 11 to 10. In a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday, opponents warned cutting shift lengths would wreak havoc in an already depressed economy.
“Ultimately, the consumer will feel these costs at the checkout aisle,” says Rob Mackie of the American Bakers Association.
In a survey, nearly half the truck drivers said they'd actually fallen asleep at the wheel.
The Wood family of Falls Church believes tougher rules are necessary to protect families like their own. Their daughter Dana was killed on I-95. The truck she crashed with pushed her car the length of four football fields. The driver was fatigued and driving on a suspended license, the family says.
“Our family just spent another holiday without our beautiful daughter,” says Marchelle Wood, Dana’s mother. “I urge Congress and the President to put the safety of the motorist before the greed of the trucking industry."