Fatigued Truck Drivers and the Risks They Present

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By now it should be common knowledge that truck and automobile drivers who are not well rested pose a danger on the roadways. Although awareness about driving safety has been at its all-time high, and even with steady initiative to implement stricter regulations on truck drivers, there has been an 18% increase in fatal truck accidents since 2009.

In 2006, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted a Large Truck Crash Causation Study that identified fatigue as one of the top ten causes of truck accidents. The FMCSA has enacted rules such as Hours of Service (HOS), which are among some of the regulations imposed on truck drivers in the United States. These rules set standards for the number of hours truck drivers are allowed to work before taking necessary rest breaks. The FMCSA rules prohibit property-carrying vehicles to drive more than eleven consecutive hours and be on duty for more than fourteen hours.

Generally, truck drivers are paid per mile; so the companies and drivers have incentives to finish their runs as quickly as possible. When drivers fail to comply with the HOS regulations, driver fatigue starts to set in. A study done by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that fatigue has an adverse effect on the entire scope of cognitive activity necessary for safe driving. When drivers start to experience fatigue their reaction times, vision, and attention spans become delayed and the results can be tragic.

If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a trucking accident, contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend today by calling 713-222-7211 or toll free at 1-800-870-8584.

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