Drowsy truck drivers pose an extreme risk to motorists on the road. While numerous regulations exist to keep tired truckers off the road, these regulations are not always successful. For a variety of reasons, truckers may ignore these federal mandates, endangering everyone else on the road. Get the facts on the dangers of drowsy truck drivers so you can be an informed motorist.
In a recent study, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found common factors that contribute to truck accidents, including the following:
- Driver drove too fast for conditions, misjudged the speed of other motorists, or followed other vehicles too closely (38%).
- Driver was inattentive or distracted (28%).
- Driver fell asleep or was suddenly disabled or incapacitated (12%).
Unfortunately, truckers driving while drowsy is an all-too-common occurrence. Most truckers average less than five (5) hours of sleep per night. As a result, truck drivers have reported falling asleep as the critical reason for a crash seven percent (7%) of the time. Another forty-one (41%) of drivers reported minor fatigue, inattention, or pressure from work as related factors to the accident. Additionally, 25% of truckers reported falling asleep while driving during the previous month.
Due to the prevalence of truckers driving while drowsy, the FMCSA set hours-of-service regulations for property-carrying drivers, including the following:
- Truckers may not drive longer than 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty.
- Truckers may drive only if eight hours or less have passed since their last off-duty or sleeper–berth period break of at least 30-minutes.
Unfortunately, even with these regulations in place, truckers often exceed the hours-of-service regulations, often due to pressure from their employer or customers.
If you have been harmed in a truck accident, our truck accident attorneys at Wagner Reese are here to fight for the compensation you deserve. We have helped numerous accident victims throughout Indiana and have recovered millions for clients.