Tired drivers behind the wheel of 18-wheelers have caused a number of accidents. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that perhaps as many as 83,000 accidents per year were caused by drivers who fell asleep while driving their vehicles. Considering the damage an 18-wheeler can do to a passenger car during a collision; these numbers demonstrate just how dangerous it is to be on the road with sleepy truck drivers.
In fact, concerning semi-truck drivers as a separate group in a study conducted by the Harvard School of Medicine-Sleep Medicine Division, nearly half have admitted to actually “drifting off” while driving a long-haul route. Driving at night is even more difficult for a tired driver. The darkness, limited visibility, and glare of headlights can prove treacherous for a fatigued driver.
Truck Drivers need Rest to Prevent Falling Asleep While Driving
The U.S. Department of Transportation and relevant agencies such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have regulations regarding the amount of rest truck drivers need. The long driving hours, night time driving, irregular hours and early start times, tight scheduling, insufficient time for recovery, doing the non-driving physical work of loading and unloading as well as poor driving conditions can cause truck accidents. Some of those regulations regarding driving time include:
- The average work week for a truck driver is limited to 70 hours
- Drivers must take a 30-minute break during their first 8 hours of work
- 11-hour daily driving limit and 14-hour work day limit
Companies who ignore these rules can be held accountable for the harm caused by their drivers.
Contact a Houston 18-Wheeler Crash Attorney
Unfortunately, the demands of truck owners and companies force drivers to drive tired. Truck accidents may be caused by a driver who fell asleep while driving or who was too tired to drive safely.
If you have been injured by a tired driver, take advantage of your legal recourse to make sure that trucking companies and operators know that it is intolerable for them to danger your life for their profit. Contact Chelsie King Garza to discuss your legal remedies.