EXPERIENCED PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS
TIRED TRUCK DRIVERS IN WEST PLAINS, MO
DRIVING WHILE FATIGUED IS DANGEROUS
Research has demonstrated that staying on the road to drive while tired is at least as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol. For example, a study conducted by researchers in the Netherlands found that 2 hours of nighttime driving reduces a driver's alertness and ability to safely operate the vehicle as much as having a blood alcohol concentration of .05 percent, 3 hours is equivalent to having a BAC of .08 percent – the legal limit for a drunk driving arrest – and 4.5 hours is just as bad as having a BAC of .10 percent. The researchers who conducted this study estimated that approximately one in five motor vehicle accidents throughout the industrialized world are caused by drivers who were fatigued.
WHY DO TRUCK DRIVERS GET ON THE RIDE WHILE TIRED?
Tired drivers are found to be at fault in all types of traffic collisions, but the problem is especially common among commercial truck drivers. This can be attributed to the fact that truckers, as a fundamental part of their job duties, spend long hours on end behind the wheel. Spending long stretches of time behind the wheel, especially on the open highway, can lead the development of a condition known as highway hypnosis, in which the driver settles into a state of monotony and becomes essentially a robot. As the day drags on, a truck driver will gradually become more and more tired, until the time when common sense would dictate that it is time to get off the road.
Many truckers, however, push the limits of safety by staying on the road despite the fact that they have become fatigued and are less likely to react to an emergency in the time necessary to avert a disaster. Often, this is a result of the fact that the driver is under enormous pressure from his or her employer to meet stiff delivery deadlines on time. In other cases, it is because the driver is getting paid by the mile and wants to maximize his or her paycheck. Sometimes, there is no good reason and it is simply because the driver has an inflated concept of his own ability to drive through fatigue.
FEDERAL HOURS OF SERVICE REGULATIONS
Semi-truck drivers are restrained from driving while tired by more than the common sense observation that it is not safe to do. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has enacted Hours of Service regulations which impose strict limits on the amount of time a commercial truck driver may stay on the road before stopping to rest. For example, the driver may drive for up to 11 hours after spending a minimum of 10 consecutive hours off duty, and may not drive beyond the 14 th hour after having come on duty. Drivers are required to maintain logs of the hours which they spend resting versus the amount of time they are behind the wheel.
The unfortunate truth, however, is that many truckers falsify their logs with the purpose of cheating the system and breaking the rules. For this reason, the FMCSA has proposed a rule which would require trucks to have electronic on-board recorders installed which would make it impossible for the trucker to get away with violating the hours of service regulations.
LET OUR WEST PLAINS INJURY LAWYER FIGHT FOR YOU
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident which you believe was caused by a tired driver, contact us at Henry & Williams, P.C. for help. Our personal injury lawyers have more than 80 years of combined experience, and we are ready to work tirelessly to recover the financial compensation you deserve. Let us investigate your case for evidence that the trucker was at fault, whether by driving tired or for other reasons, and fight to help you obtain justice! We charge zero fees unless we recover financial restitution.
Get your free case evaluation by calling Henry & Williams, P.C. today!