Grimes & Fertitta, P.C.

Truck driver fatigue and the rate of truck accidents

Whether you are traveling in the morning, midday or at night, it is likely that you will encounter a commercial truck. Due to the constant need to make deliveries and shipments, semi-trucks and tractor-trailer trucks are constantly used across the nation. While there are many benefits associated with these massive vehicles, the reality is that they have the ability to cause much destruction if an accident ensues. While there are many causes of truck accidents, a major factor is truck driver fatigue.

Sleep-deprived truck drivers cause serious and fatal truck accident each year. When looking at the numbers form 2017, there were a total of more than 4,600 fatalities involving large trucks. It was determined that more than 1% of truck accidents are attributed to truck drivers that fell asleep at the wheel or were fatigued. This amounts to an average of 62 per year from 2015 to 2017.

Back in 2012, the hours of service rule came into effect. To hold truck drivers and trucking companies more accountable, electronic logging devices became a requirement starting last year. However, there is a current push to create more flexibility with these regulations. Nonetheless, the concern here is that making these types of changes would increase the number of accidents caused by fatigued truck drivers.

Fatigued driving is just as concerning as distracted driving and drunk driving; however, when it comes to the trucking industry, this is a major concern, as driving long hours and driving well into the night is a part of the job. While federal trucking regulations specifically seek to reduce accidents caused by truck drivers, the unfortunate reality is that this does not prevent all truck crashes. A personal injury claim can hold a truck driver or trucking company accountable for the losses suffered.

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