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The Dangers of Drowsy Driving by Truck Drivers

Posted on in Car Accidents

Milwaukee truck accident attorney, truck accidents, drowsy driving, truck driver fatigue, motor vehicle collisionsThe roads of the United States are filled with 18-wheelers and tractor-trailer trucks, and these vehicles provide an essential service for moving cargo throughout the country. However, the large size and massive weight of these trucks makes them incredibly dangerous to other vehicles.

Since drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles are at risk of serious injuries in truck accidents, commercial truck drivers must meet a number of requirements to ensure they are safely operating their vehicles. Unfortunately, failure to follow these requirements can result in truck driver fatigue, which can lead to deadly accidents.

Drowsy Driving Truck Accident Statistics

Of the over 30,000 people who die in motor vehicle collisions across the United States, more than 4,000 of these fatalities result from crashes involving semi-trailer trucks. According to a study performed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), 13 percent of truck drivers involved in accidents were considered to be fatigued at the time of the crash. This means that more than 500 people are killed each year as the result of drowsy driving by truck drivers.

After a person has been awake for 18 hours, his or her level of fatigue creates conditions similar to a blood alcohol level of .05 percent. Additionally, being awake after 21 hours is similar to a .08 percent blood alcohol level—the legal limit for drunk driving. This demonstrates the danger of drowsy driving. Unfortunately, the practice of driving long hours is all too common for truckers who are often encouraged to do so by their employers.

Requirements for Truck Drivers

Commercial truck drivers are required to follow strict “hours of service” regulations designed to reduce the possibility of fatigued driving. A driver may not drive for more than 70 hours in a work week. Moreover, once a driver reaches this limit, he or she must rest for at least 34 hours before starting a new work week. Drivers are also limited to no more than 11 hours of driving in a single stretch, and they must be off-duty for 10 hours between these periods. They are also required to take a 30-minute break every eight hours.

Contact a Milwaukee, WI, Personal Injury Lawyer

When truck drivers fail to follow regulations meant to prevent drowsy driving, or when their employers pressure them to work longer than they should, they endanger everyone who uses the road. When you are injured because of the negligence of a driver or his or her employer, you deserve to be compensated for the damages you have suffered.

If you have been involved in a truck crash, the attorneys of Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP can investigate the circumstances surrounding the collision and review records, driver logs, and other evidence to determine whether driver fatigue was a factor. Contact an experienced Milwaukee truck accident attorney by calling 414-271-1440.

Sources:

https://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/17/business/truckers-resist-rules-on-sleep-despite-risks-of-drowsy-driving.html

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service/summary-hours-service-regulations

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/08/07/report-drowsy-driving-sleeper-threat-crashes/88300112/

Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP

330 East Kilbourn Avenue
Suite 1170
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Phone: 414-271-1440
Fax: 414-271-7680
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