One of the most common causes of commercial truck accidents is driver fatigue. Although the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established multiple regulations and rules which address the issue of drowsy driving and limit the number of hours a truck driver can be behind the wheel, hundreds of thousands of hours-of-service (HOS) rule violations have been issued each year.
According to a survey conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), many truckers violate HOS regulations and drive longer than permitted. Additionally, drivers often record false information in their driving logs.
Why is Fatigued Driving a Huge Problem?
Studies show that sleep deprivation slows reaction time and hinders decision-making abilities. Although lack of sleep has an adverse impact on all of us, it can result in an increased risk of a catastrophic crash.
The reason why there are so many truck accidents related to fatigue is due to competition. For every trucking company that is well-run and compliant to all of the safety regulations, there are several others who are willing to compromise safety to maximize their profit margins. Some trucking companies encourage their drivers to work longer hours to meet strict deadlines much faster than expected.
Common causes of truck driver fatigue include:
- Inadequate rest
- Exceeding the number of driving hours permitted by law
- Pressure to deliver cargo on time
- Ignoring federal driving rules
To help avoid a truck accident with a fatigued trucker, motorists should drive safely around large commercial trucks. Always give semi-trucks the right of way, avoid driving alongside a semi-truck, and keep in mind of their blind spots.
If you have been injured in a truck accident caused by a negligent trucker in Texas, request a free consultation with our Fort Worth personal injury lawyers at the Law Office of James M. Stanley today.