Fatigued Truck Drivers is Still a Huge Cause for Concern
According to the Large Truck Crash Causation Study conducted by NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) and the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), the number one reason behind trucking accidents is fatigued and overworked drivers. Though the organizations that conducted the study were quick to note that most accidents involve more than a single factor, drowsy driving accounts for 13 percent of the estimated 120,000 fatal and injury truck crashes that occur annually. However, other factors such as non-performance, recognition, and decision contribute to even more accidents; these factors are all factors that could be the result of fatigue and driver-burnout.
Truck accidents often result in severe lifelong injuries and disabilities and, in the worst cases, death. If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a driving accident that you suspect was the result of fatigue, call Barbas, Nuñez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian to speak with a knowledgeable Tampa car accident lawyer today.
Laws Are in Place to Prevent Driver Fatigue
Truck driver fatigue is not a new problem, but unfortunately, it continues to be a pervasive one. Drowsy driving accidents are easily preventable with a few strict regulations and punishments in place for violators. Sadly though, many companies choose profits over people, and though those companies are not single handedly responsible for ongoing drowsy driving accidents, they contribute to a majority of them. Many of U.S. laws in place today target these specific organizations.
FMCSA Hours of Service Safety Regulations
Though several states have enacted their own sets of rules for truck drivers, the FMCSA’s hours of service regulations apply to independent and employed drivers throughout the country. In accordance with these regulations, truckers can work no more than 70 hours a week, a significant decrease from the former maximum of 82 hours. However, truckers can resume operations if they rest for 34 consecutive hours before getting back behind the wheel. During those 34 hours, truckers are required to sleep during the hours when the body demands sleep the most: from 1-5 a.m. Truckers are required to take a 30-minute break during the first eight hours of their shift. They cannot drive for more than 11 hours during a shift, and they cannot be on the clock for more than 14 hours a day.
Companies and individuals that violate the FMCSA’s restrictions are subject to civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense. Companies that allow drivers to exceed the maximum 11 hours of driving time by more than three hours may be subject to an $11,000 fine per offense.
If You Were in an Accident, Call a Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured, disabled, or killed in a truck accident caused by a tired driver, you may have more rights than you think. Call the Tampa truck accident lawyers at Barbas, Nuñez, Sanders, Butler & Hovsepian to discuss those rights and to receive a free evaluation of your case.