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The Real Cause of Truck Driver Fatigue

April 6, 2018

Roughly 4,000 people die each year in crashes caused by tired, fatigued truck-drivers

In 2015, an astounding 3.6 million heavy-duty class 8 trucks transported goods across the continent. The American economy and the American people depend on these commercial vehicles.

As the American Trucking Association likes to state, “without trucks, America stops.” However, it’s no secret that these large freight machines pose numerous risks to fellow drivers.

These dangers are only heightened when the drivers that control these large machines are not fully alert behind the wheel.

Truck driver fatigue is an issue of growing concern on roadways across America. In-fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently passed regulations aimed to combat truck driver fatigue. For instance, the administration limited the number of hours a truck driver is allowed to operate their machine. Additionally, the FMCSA capped the number of service hours per week and enforced mandatory rests with shorter driving intervals.

Obviously, the goal of these regulations is to reduce truck driver fatigue and consequently minimize traffic deaths caused by exhausted operators. Unfortunately, some commercial freight companies implement systems that promote the explicit violation of these regulations.

For example, many companies compensate their drivers for an increased quantity of deliveries and overall timeliness. This incentivizes truck operators to drive faster and clock more hours of consecutive operation. Additionally, despite the regulations, these companies continue to set unrealistic schedules and expectations for their employees.

It is unfortunate but true that many of the deaths caused by truck driver fatigue—deaths to regular drivers as well as truck operators—is the fault of commercial freight companies that set the schedules and compensation systems. Appropriately, if a personal injury truck accident claim were to be filed, the freight company is usually one of the primarily liable parties.

If a negligent truck driver caused you harm in a truck accident, it is important to understand your legal rights, as compensation may be available to assist you with your damages. Proving trucker negligence is no easy feat, which is why victims should turn to an experienced legal professional for help.