Semi Truck Accidents

Overworked Truck Drivers – Spell Disaster

In 2013, most commercial truck drivers have new Hours of Service regulations with which they must comply when operating commercial trucks.

The logic of the limiting the hours of operations for a truck driver was to allow a driver to risk and reduce occurrence of driver fatigue.

It is well documents that truck drivers that fail or refuse to follow the time restrictions and drive extended hours or days, place all of us, also on the roadways at an increased risk of crashes.

The Law is clear, truck drivers cannot drive more than 11 hours following a 10-hour break. Neither can the driver be on duty more than 14 hours following that same 10-hour break, even if all that time doesn’t involve driving.

Those and other new rules were implemented in an effort to keep drivers fresh and alert.

Those drivers out there that refuse to follow the law, are killing individuals at an alarming rate.

A 2006 Driver Fatigue and Alertness Study found that fatigue leads to:

  • longer reaction time to critical events;
  • more variable and less effective control responses;
  • decreased motivation to sustain performance;
  • increased subjective feelings of drowsiness;
  • decreased watchfulness; and
  • decreased alertness to danger.
  • increased lapses of attention;
  • slower information-processing and decision-making;

Fatigue is a problem, and fatigue clearly has the potential to create hazards on the highways.

When a truck driver is fatigued is behind the wheel of a big rig, others on the road are put at risk of injury or death.

Researchers found that driving while drowsy increased an individual’s crash risk by four to six times.

Lawyers in our firm have handled a number of cases where driver fatigue clearly resulted in accidents.

Unfortunately, a dangerous number of trucking companies do not have the procedural safeguards in place that will reduce the likelihood of driver fatigue and prevent violations of the Federal on-duty hour regulations.

Over the years, the injury lawyers in our firm have seen the continued development of a pattern where some trucking companies have repetitive fatigue-related, excess driving hour violations.

Carabin Shaw Injury Lawyers will continue to push for safer roadways by holding trucking companies accountable for violating laws designed to keep fatigued drivers off the roadway.

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