The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uncovered troubling truck driving trends when it comes to sleep deprivation that affects regular sleep/rest cycles, resulting in dangerous and deadly fatigue. Researchers discovered that over-the-road eighteen-wheel haulers confessed to falling asleep while driving in the past month.
A significant factor in large truck crashes involved violations of logbooks and hours of service violations that inevitably led to collisions. The advent of mandated electronic logging devices in 2017, replacing pen and paper, makes violations easier to track.
Regulations governing truck travel
FMCSA regulations mandate the following for commercial truck drivers:
- Not working more than 11 hours or traveling for 14 hours since starting a shift without a ten-hour break
- Spend 30 minutes off-duty following no more than eight hours of driving
- Not getting behind the wheel following a restart provision of 34 hours off-duty after working 60 work hours in seven days or 70 hours in eight days
Various factors point to fatalities
With large trucks weight up to 30 times that of passenger vehicles, those occupants account for the most fatalities in truck accidents. Because of the height and ground clearance, lower-riding cars can easily slide between truck trailers.
The capability of truck brakes also presents hazardous conditions on roads throughout the United States. Stopping distances for the truck are considerably longer, a significant hazard when considering the possibility of wet and slippery roads combined with poorly maintained brakes.
Size matters, particularly when a truck driver is fatigued or under the influence. The aftermath of a collision can change and potentially end lives, requiring legal representation to secure both compensation and justice.