DRIVER FATIGUE: A Common Cause for Trucking Accidents
According to recent figures from the U.S. Department of Transportation, each year around 500,000 truck accidents occur in the United States, and approximately 5,000 of these accidents result in fatalities. One out of every eight traffic fatality involves a semi truck collision. We all know that truck drivers drive long hours and are under tremendous pressure to meet strenuous deadlines. These unrelenting pressures often result in dangerous driver fatigue.
Driver fatigue is the highest causes of truck accidents. In 1939, the federal government mandated an “hours of service” rule and attempted to limit the number of hours that any truck, driven by a single operator, can continuously be out on the road. The most current version of this restriction now allows a truck driver to drive for a maximum of no more than 11 continuous hours, in a 14 hour work day. After this period, drivers are required to take a minimum 10 hour mandatory rest period before getting back behind the wheel and on the road again.
11 straight hours is still a very long time to be driving in any single day. But when you do the math, a truck can still be driven between 70-88 hours during any 8 day period. And by the way, companies and drivers only make money when those big wheels are turning at highway speeds. So there is no let up. It’s a new day. Every day. And this is how bad things can happen.
Many accidents occur between midnight and 6 in the morning…
If you are already tired, you can easily fall asleep and be involved in a serious accident. It is strongly discouraged to try and “push on” or “finish” a long trip under these circumstances. It is better to “pull over” and live than try to continue on and risk a deadly trucking accident.
Our lawyers hope and pray you will never need us. But if your family has been affected by tractor trailer negligence, we are here to help. We encourage you to carefully review and compare our lawyers’ credentials and then call us for a private consultation to review your particular situation. You can reach us at 803-554-4157 directly or 877-374-599 nationwide.
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