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How Truck Driver Fatigue Contributes to Crashes

a tired truck driver

Truck drivers have immense responsibility. They operate vehicles that may weigh in excess of 80,000 pounds. Such weight and force can decimate a passenger vehicle and seriously injure or kill its occupants.

Sadly, however, some truck drivers do not respect the level of responsibility they have when operating these vehicles. One example of this is when truck drivers—either due to impatience to get to where they are going or due to pressure from their employer to stay on schedule—drive for longer than they should. This often leads to severe fatigue and contributes to a large number of truck accidents.

How Many Truck Accidents Are Caused by Driver Fatigue?

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a significant number of truck accidents are caused by truck driver fatigue. In fact, truck driver fatigue plays a role in 13% of truck accidents. This amounts to approximately 18,000 of the 141,000 large trucks estimated to have been involved in fatal and injury crashes during the study period.

There are several reasons that truck drivers may get drowsy on the road. The major reason is driving too many hours without resting. The FMCSA has tried to curtail this trend by implementing hours-of-service regulations which mandate that truckers may not drive more than 11 hours without a break. However, it should be noted that these regulations were changed during the COVID-19 pandemic as the demand for medical supplies and other essential items skyrocketed.

Truckers may violate the hours-of-service regulations for several reasons. Drivers may receive financial rewards for arriving at destinations ahead of schedule. Additionally, trucking companies have been known to pressure their drivers to falsify their logbooks denoting their time spent behind the wheel.

Such practices put everyone on the road at risk, and the consequences can be devastating. If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident, our team has the experience and resources needed to take on large trucking companies and their insurers.

Call Wisner Baum at (855) 948-5098 to schedule a free consultation.


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