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Truck Driver Fatigue and Risks

Handley LLC Sept. 23, 2019

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that it is not feasible to obtain statistics on crashes induced by fatigue, although it is estimated that in 2017 91,000 crashes reported to police engaged fatigued drivers. Moreover, everyone does not acknowledge sleeping or even tired while driving. Thus, crash accident researchers only have their best guess if someone was tired or falling asleep in an accident.

Drowsy Times for Truck Drivers

Your circadian rhythm— your sleep-regulating inner clock — works like the clocks of others. It suggests between midnight and six in the morning, and early evening again, you have to sleep. These are the moments when, due to fatigue, riders are more likely to crash. Even truck drivers who can be used to drive those times are going to get drowsy. One of the telltale signs of someone falling asleep on the wheel is that at the accident site there is no proof of skid marks. That's not always conclusive, though. A driver may have had a medical emergency or somebody or something not seen by the driver caused the driver to run off the highway. However, it will be best to call your personal injury attorney in OKC in case you are hit by a sleeping driver.

Other riders are less probable to be involved in crashes that occur at night unless traffic is high. In a crash with a fatigued driver, more individuals are likely to get hurt during the daytime as more individuals travel the roadways.

Preventive Steps for Fatigued Driving

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has created guidelines and regulations to be followed by drivers of big trucks in their effort to decrease the number of highway crashes involving big trucks. There is a whole set of regulations on driver's hours of operation (HOS) that have been developed with the intention of "keeping fatigued drivers off the government roads." FMCSA rules apply to truck drivers traveling interstate, which implies that they may travel through Oklahoma on their manner to a final destination in another state, or that they may travel from another state with Texas as the driver. Texas has comparable laws for drivers driving only in Oklahoma.

Rules Violation by Fatigued Truck Drivers

The FMCSA has multiple inspection stations throughout the nation where, among other things, they check the logbooks of the truck driver to attempt and discourage accidents. There have been a number of violations in 2017. For instance, there was:

  • Over 71,000 quotes provided to a driver who has no present driving record status.

  • A total of 51,149 driving quotes above the 8-hour limit.

  • False reporting times fueled by nearly 43,000 quotes and breaks made as demonstrated by the logbook.

  • About 32,600 quotes for not having a logbook.

  • Approximately 33,000 driving quotes after the 14-hour duty period.

  • Over 19,000 driving quotes in the 14-hour span beyond the 11-hour limit.

  • Another 25,554 quotes for failing to have an existing logbook.

Why Truck Drivers Take Risk of Fatigued Driving?

Drivers often have rigid delivery deadlines. To avoid jeopardizing their working agreement with the employer, they force themselves past the time-limit of the laws.

Some employers give drivers who deliver cargo early economic incentives. Other firms pay per driven mile. Compared to drivers pushing themselves so they can get a bonus, the danger of providing a quote for riding past the hour limit may be pale.

Many employees ignore the fact that truck drivers might have driving limits and exceeding it could be risky. They often turn a blind eye resulting in regulatory breaches and drivers get engaged in crashing while driving for fatigue.

Contributing Factors to Fatigue

  • Several variables lead to tiredness, and some may never influence a driver while others may be much more susceptible.

  • Not receiving at least seven hours of rest because a driver is concerned about his load, has medical or economic problems on his or her mind, or is a light sleeper and the traffic keeps the driver awake.

  • Stressful situations such as traffic sitting due to building or accident.

  • Taking medicines on prescription. Specific medicines may not make one driver drowsy but the other one.

  • Heavy-duty driving.

  • Watching for other drivers who are careless on the road, like those who pass a vehicle and pull too close in front because they don't know that a truck requires more room to stop.

  • Sleep disorders like apnea for sleep.

  • Circadian rhythm of a driver insists in the mid-afternoon on kicking right and strikes the driver exceptionally hard.

  • It may be component of the solution to allow riders to handle their time because they could stop and take that cat nap that keeps them alert.

Hiring an Attorney

If you think you may be entitled to damages, you should always seek assistance of personal injury attorney in OKC. The situation is often quite complex because so many entities may be engaged in a truck accident. Besides the driver who may be responsible, the company for which the driver works, the truck owner, the dispatcher and even the cargo manufacturer may be liable for some or all of the damages to which you may be entitled.

Contact handley law Firm personal injury attorney in OKC.

** Disclaimer: This blog article is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.