Due to their heavier size and weight, a semi-trailer can inflict serious damage when involved in accidents with smaller vehicles. Truck drivers have a special responsibility to drive safely and cautiously, as well as to adhere to industry regulations in order to prevent unnecessary accidents. One of these regulations pertains to the permitted number of hours a trucker can be behind the wheel consecutively.
A tired trucker is a dangerous trucker, and even a few hours over the legal limit can lead to decreased awareness, slower reaction times and more. If you suffered an injury in an Atlanta-area truck accident, it is possible that fatigue played a role in your pain and suffering.
What should you know about fatigued trucking?
Trucks play a crucial part in the transportation of goods across the country, and they have a major role in the American economy. However, because of this important role, trucking companies may pressure drivers to drive longer than standards permit, or truckers may be tempted to drive too long because they want to get paid more and faster. Ultimately, this leads to more tired truckers on the roads.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, approximately half of all truck drivers admit to falling asleep behind the wheel. Additionally, 65 percent admit to feeling tired while driving some of the time. Other things you may need to know about truck accidents include:
- Fatigue plays a role in a significant number of fatal truck crashes throughout the country.
- Current regulations permit truckers to be behind the wheel as many as 11 hours within a 14-hour workday.
- Fatigued driving is not a new problem — for 70 years, drowsiness has led to an increased number of truck accidents.
Despite the prevalence of this problem, there are ways that employers, truckers and other organizations can ensure the safety all motorists sharing the road.
Ways to reduce the number of drowsy truck drivers
Fighting fatigued driving is a massive effort, but there are a few ways to decrease the likelihood of a tired trucker causing a serious crash. Some of these ways include:
- The implementation of electronic logs to monitor the number of hours driven could lessen the chance of a trucker driving too long.
- Promoting safety, wellness and awareness could decrease fatigued driving.
- Other preventative measures include changing the way compensation works for truckers, as well as reducing the number of safety regulation exemptions allowed.
It is possible that fatigued driving played a role in your truck accident. You may have valid grounds to move forward with a civil claim, holding the liable parties accountable for your suffering, injuries and financial damages.