Driver Fatigue – Dangers of Commercial Trucking

The NTSB estimates that nearly 20% of their investigations identified fatigue as the contributing factor in truck accidents.

As Americans, we share the road with commercial trucks on a daily basis. We have become used to driving along side them and may give little or no thought to their presence. However, according the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in 2016, 4,400 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes. That means that sharing the road with semi trucks can be very dangerous. One of the biggest contributors to truck accidents is driver fatigue.

St. Louis Truck Accident Attorney

What is Driver Fatigue?

A tractor trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. They are hard to maneuver and can be very hard to stop when traveling full speed down the highway. This fact combined with driver fatigue can have devastating consequences. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) human fatigue is a serious issue affecting the safety of the traveling public in all modes of transportation. They estimate that nearly 20% of major NTSB investigations between 2001 and 2012, identified fatigue as the probable cause or contributing factor.

Fatigue is a symptom of both poor sleep and health management. It leads to poor judgement and decision making, loss of situational awareness and control, and slower reaction times. A fatigued person has a hard time staying awake, alert, and attentive. In addition, fatigue impairs a persons ability to judge just how fatigued they actually are.

For a truck driver, driver fatigue can result from driving too many hours in a row and the pressure to deliver their loads on time. The FMCSA has regulations that require truckers to take rest breaks. For instance, they are only allowed to drive a maximum of 11 hours in a row and must take a consecutive break of 10 hours prior to driving. They are prohibited from driving for more than 60 hours in one week, or more than 70 hours in eight days. However, many truck drivers break the rules and many trucking companies put undo pressure on their drivers.

Victims of Truck Accidents

When a passenger vehicle is involved in a collision with a tractor trailer, the result can be debilitating injuries and sometimes death. Trucking companies carry large insurance policies to that they can pay for the medical care and other expenses that affect truck accident victims and their families.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving a commercial truck, you need to protect your rights. The truck accident lawyers at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann are experienced in handling injury claims involving all types of commercial vehicles.

St. Louis Truck Accident Lawyer

Our St. Louis truck accident lawyer will evaluate your case thoroughly, explore all potential sources of recovery and preserve your rights under the law. Contact our Lawyer today for a free consultation at (314) 361-4300 or toll free at (888) 872-6795. You can also complete our Online Case Evaluation Form.