Commercial truck drivers usually have a scheduled time period to get goods to the eventual destination. Ideally, they work efficiently and safely. However, the pressure to meet their deadline can result in bad choices. This is especially true as far as taking breaks from driving is concerned.
Drowsy truck driving is an issue the government is aware of and no wonder there are regulations implemented to help mitigate the risk of driving by those who are tired. Take the hours-of-service rules for instance. FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) summarizes HOS in the following way.
- Driving Limit: A driver can work for up to 14 consecutive hours. Once this time period passes, they have to take a break.
- Rest Breaks: Usually, drivers have to take rest for 30 minutes at the least.
- Time-off requirements: Basically, drivers have to spend 10 consecutive hours off duty for every 14-hour period on duty.
In theory, regulations sound reasonable. In actuality, it is no easy task to get trucking companies and truck drivers to correctly report and conform to these rules.
Are you wondering whether there is a method to better make sure these rules are followed? The use of ELD (electronic logging device) is considered by FMCSA. The device itself will log this information, without human control. The agency is conducting a study, which will collect information on the sleeping habits of participating drivers. This information may result in adjustments in the above-mentioned regulations, which would help better to make sure drivers are getting adequate rest.
Another question to ask is whether drowsy truck driving contributes to accidents. It is an extremely dangerous behavior to say the least. NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) reports that 100,000 collisions are the consequence of driver fatigue. It also points out that this estimation is conservative.
People who are involved in a truck accident and sustained injuries feel that it was the driver’s fault and that they are eligible for a legal remedy. This can comprise compensation for damages, and to get that they have to file a personal injury lawsuit for starters. They also have to hire an experienced personal injury accident attorney. There may be the concerned trucking company’s policies or a faulty product that contributed to the crash. To establish this and make a case successful, it is always wise to seek the services of a lawyer.