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Truck Driver Fatigue

Even in the best of conditions, driving an over-sized vehicle or truck is a difficult task at hand. Driving a large truck is extremely dangerous simply due to their size and weight. With an already difficult task at hand, when the driver of a truck is extremely tired, or fatigue, it increases the likelihood of an accident to occur. Studies show that driver fatigue is the factor in 30-40% of all truck accidents. Sadly, the truth is many trucks drivers on the road are running off of little sleep.

Truck Driver Laws and Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration tries to regulate the commercial trucking industry by including how many hours truck drivers are allowed to operate on a daily and weekly basis. According to the rules, a truck driver can drive for a maximum of 11 hours in a 14 hours workday, after which they are required to take a mandatory rest period of 10 hours before getting behind the wheel of a truck. In a week, a truck can be on the road for 60-77 hours, and in an eight-day period, the truck can drive between 70-88 hours. The federal government created these hours of service rules because truck driver fatigue is one of the highest causes of truck accidents in the United States. Some symptoms of driving fatigue include:

  • Swerving into other lanes
  • Lack of concentration
  • Inconsistent speeds

Despite the laws and regulations, there are many truck drivers and trucking companies that do not follow them. The main reason truck driver’s break the hours and service rules is to make more money. Some other common causes of driver fatigue include:

  • Meeting strict deadlines
  • Inexperience
  • Pressure from management

Truck accidents caused by driver fatigue are something that can be avoided. If a fatigued truck has injured you, please contact the attorneys at Mike Hulen, PC, we are dedicated to representing clients who have experienced hardships due to another person’s negligence.