Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Lawyers in Dallas
TIRED DRIVERS: COMMON CAUSE OF ACCIDENTS
Fatigued driving is becoming an epidemic in the trucking industry. Tired drivers are the cause of a large majority of truck accidents every year, and despite legislation, the accidents continue. Driving while tired impairs a driver in similar ways as drug and alcohol would, making this a serious concern. So why is driver fatigue so widespread in the industry? Truck drivers operate on strict deadlines. Because they are transporting materials, they have to get from point A to point B in a certain amount of time. This forces them to drive longer hours than is safe and it also can push some drivers in unsafe practices such as speeding.
Hours of Service Regulations
Commercial truck drivers are required to keep their driving and resting hours in log books. This way, they can be investigated in order to determine if any drivers are in violation of the mandated hours of service. Unfortunately, these log books are easy to falsify. It is not uncommon for overtime scandals to be found in certain trucking companies. Tired truck drivers actually account for approximately 40 percent of all truck collisions. This totals to 750 deaths and 20,000 injuries per year. The federal government recently stepped in so that they could impose additional regulations in order to remedy this problem.
The rules have decreased the amount of hours that a driver can be on the road as well as increased the amount of resting breaks that they are required to take. Whether these rules will help or not, the trucking industry isn’t the biggest fan. They already believe that there are too many regulations, and with the addition of these resting breaks, they believe that they will be losing profit. They are also concerned about the heavy fines and penalties that they and their drivers could face for violating any of these new mandates.
Truck drivers can now not operate their vehicles for more than eight hours at a time without taking a half-hour break to rest. Per week, drivers used to be able to drive up to 82 hours and now that number has decreased to 70. Interestingly enough, after these new rules were implemented, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recorded a record number of falling asleep at the wheel for truck drivers. Anonymous focus groups of truck drivers were taken with startling findings. A good portion of drivers surveyed said that they had fallen asleep at the wheel at least once in the past few months, and a good number of others said that they had fallen asleep at the wheel at least once in the prior few weeks.
Contact Zinda Law Group!
The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that 52 percent of 107 single-vehicle accidents involving commercial trucks investigated were caused by a fatigued driver. These accidents can be even more severe than others, because drivers who have fallen asleep at the wheel do not have the ability to put on their brakes or swerve in order to avoid the accident becoming worse.
This is not something that should be stood for. The trucking industry needs to be held accountable for their actions. If you were injured in an accident involving a truck, then the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) is responsible for conducting an accident investigation. If the cause of your accident was a tired driver that was working over the mandated amount, then you may have a claim against the trucking company as well as the driver. Call 800-863-5312 today to receive a 100% free consultation.