Startling Concerns about Truck Driver Fatigue and Accidents
There’s no doubt that truck accidents are usually bad ones. Unfortunately, drivers who fell asleep or were fatigued are at risk. According to a report prepared by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), sleep deprivation rank highest among impaired truck drivers. There’s more of a chance of getting in an accident with a fatigued driver than one who is under the influence of drugs, alcohol or medication.
You should know that the federal government has regulations in place regarding the number of hours truck drivers can operate their vehicles. Currently, drivers carrying some type of cargo may drive up to eleven hours each day. They may not exceed sixty hours in seven days. There are subtle provisions for sleep requirements. They include an obligatory 34 hour resting period at the end of a work week.
Push to Increase Safety Regulations for Truck Drivers
Is there a push to increase safety regulations for truck drivers? Most definitely, and, from a reputable source. In its 2016 Most Wanted List, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) cites a reduction in driver fatigue as its number one cause. It states that “combating fatigue requires a comprehensive approach focused on research, education and training, technologies, treatment of sleep disorders, hours-of-service regulations, and on- and off-duty scheduling policies and practices.”
Here’s where the concern becomes more disconcerting. According to a recent news article, government funding issues will be responsible for blocking requirements for truck drivers to rest. The mandatory resting period would no longer be a requirement. This could put many in danger.
Sleep deprivation is a huge issue among truck drivers. Yet, many continue to take the risk. Miles mean money. The quicker the cargo is delivered, the bigger the opportunity to move on to the next job. And, more dollars. Admittedly, it is a gamble. One that does not put safety first.
What does this mean? Unfortunately, truck drivers may be the first victims of their own fatigue. Many experience serious injuries or are even killed in accidents. But, what about others?
Obviously, trucks of any size are difficult to maneuver. Imagine the tractor trailer driver who attempts to keep his eyes open on the road. A big rig driver who is unable to stay awake may cause a catastrophic accident in a matter of seconds.
Were you involved in a truck accident? If you were the driver, you might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Otherwise, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to learn about pursuing legal action. The Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo handles both types of cases. Contact us to set up a meeting to discuss your claim.