How Tiredness Contributes To Truck Crashes

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The maximum allowable weight of a commercially loaded truck is 80,000 pounds. Skill and concentration are required for the safe operation of such a huge vehicle. Any truck driver is a threat if they don’t get enough sleep. The trucking sector still has a severe problem with drivers who are overly tired. Too many individuals are seriously hurt or killed every year because truck drivers continue to drive while exhausted. The experts Stockton truck accident attorney have written a detailed explanation of how truck driver weariness can lead to accidents.

Majority Of Truck Crashes Had Fatigued Drivers As A Contributing Factor

There are many potential causes of collisions involving tractor trailers, including driver error, trucking company negligence, and road conditions. However, truck driver weariness is a major factor in many tractor-trailer collisions across the United States. Government statistics show that roughly 13% of commercial vehicle accidents involve drowsy drivers. It’s a major contributor to crashes involving trucks.

Extreme levels of competition can be found in the trucking market. Many truck drivers feel pressured to fulfil unrealistically short deadlines by putting in enormous hours on the road. There’s no shame in putting in long hours, but truck drivers can’t operate their vehicles properly without adequate rest. Truck drivers who are too sleepy or exhausted to operate their vehicles safely pose a threat to others on the road. Both individual truck drivers and trucking organisations have a responsibility to end tired driving.

You Should Be Aware Of The Risks Associated With Driving While Sleepy

Most people are aware that weariness impairs awareness, but much fewer realise how seriously this can affect one’s ability to drive safely. According to the National Sleep Foundation, there are a lot of similarities between driving when tired and driving while drunk. The effects of being awake for 24 hours straight are equivalent to those of having a blood alcohol content of 0.10, which is above the prescribed maximum in California. Driving while tired is dangerous for several reasons.

  • Loss of concentration when driving;
  • Sluggish reflexes;
  • Failed judgement; and
  • Drowning in slumber is a real possibility.

Naturally, driving while tired is risky under any circumstance. Drowsy driving is always dangerous, even in a car as little as a sedan. Large commercial truck driving is significantly more difficult. A truck driver who is too sleepy to operate safely poses a serious threat to others on the road.

Federal Regulations Prevent Trucker Fatigue

Road safety professionals have been sounding the alarm about the perils of driving while tired for quite some time. It has long been an issue in the trucking sector, as workers are under constant time constraints and high levels of stress to get deliveries made on time. Federal officials have been working to help with this issue for some time, but in 2013 they stepped up their efforts. Commercial truck drivers are subject to regulations about driving time limits enacted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

All truck drivers in California are subject to these regulations, which effectively cap the total amount of time they can spend behind the wheel of a tractor trailer each week. For those who operate trucks that transport goods, here is a quick rundown of the rules:

  • Speed Restrictions Per Day

The maximum allowed driving time for a truck driver is 11 hours per day, with a mandatory break of at least 10 hours in between shifts.

  • Opportunities To Drive Each Day

A truck driver has 14 hours to complete their daily shift, which might last up to 11 hours. They are required to take a 10-hour rest after 14 continuous hours.

  • Recess Required

Every eight hours, truck drivers are required to stop working and rest for 30 minutes. So long as even the truck driver is not behind the wheel during this time, they will be in compliance with the law.

  • Driving Restrictions On A Weekly Basis

A truck driver is only allowed to be on the road for a maximum of over 60 hours in a 7-day period, or 70 hrs in an 8-day period. In order to reset the clock, people must refrain from driving for at least 34 hours straight.

Notably, both federal and California state law require drivers of commercial trucks to keep logs of their working hours. Both truck drivers and their employers must comply with regulations requiring accurate documentation of all service time. An electronic measuring device may be required in certain situations. 

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