Truckers Continue to Skip Sleep While Trucking Accidents Ensue
Mark Clore ·
Trucking Accidents in Charleston and around the country are of major concern. The New York Times reports that 30,000 people die on highways within the United Stated every year, and large trucks are involved in one of every seven. The number of drowsy driving collisions triggered by truckers cannot be fully assessed, because unlike DWI and most other causes, there is no definitive way to prove a driver was drowsy.
Presently, there is no requirement for commercial transport drivers to keep electronic logs of their hours. Many companies rely on paper logs, which are easy to edit and alter. Moreover, there tends to be an unspoken understanding within the industry that drivers are expected to keep moving as much as possible, in order to keep corporate dollars flowing. This places a lot of pressure on divers to overdo it and continue their route, even when fatigue sets in. Again, there is no way to prove a driver was fatigued at the time of a crash, so experts must rely on sometimes faulty log books to see if the trucker was near or exceeding federal guidelines. In most cases, drivers will not admit to being exhausted or to falling asleep because of the dire legal consequences that may result. The trucking accident which injured comedian Tracy Morgan in the summer of 2014 is a rare exception, as the driver admitted he had not slept in more than 24 hours and also because Wal-Mart keeps electronic logs, which clearly showed the driver of the truck was very close to the legal limit for hours worked.
A little over a year ago, truckers could work as much as 82 hours per week, though the amount has been reduced to 70 hours.
If a trucker hits 70 hours in a week, he's required to take a 34-hour rest period, which must encompass two 1am to 5am periods.
Truckers are not allowed to drive more than 11 hours each day and they're required to take a 30-minute break.
It has also been noted that drivers who start their week after only one night of rest are more likely to have issues paying attention and to have trouble staying in their own lane. The US Department of Transportation believes that drowsy truckers cause approximately 13% of all trucking collisions, though, again, this cannot be verified. Based on the present data, this means that over 550 people lose their lives annually because a trucker was too tired to drive.
Charleston Trucking Accident Attorney
The trucking industry would rather have us believe sleep-deprived truckers are a minor problem and is continually fighting tougher legislation to curb the issue. However, even conservative estimates show that hundreds of lives are lost every year, and countless people are injured. If you have been hurt in a collision involving a commercial vehicle, and you were not at fault, you may be entitled to compensation. The courts routinely award reparations for time off work, medical expenses, and more. Additionally, each person who comes forward sheds public light on policy issueswithin the trucking industry, and can help instigate the changes necessary for safer roadways. Please contact our office for a free consultation. Our online form is available, or you can speak directly with one of our attorneys right away by calling1(800)610-2546.