According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 25 drivers have reported falling asleep while driving. Drowsy driving becomes especially dangerous when the driver is operating a commercial truck. In fact, sleep deprivation is one of the leading causes of truck accidents on the road. Sadly, the simply act of falling asleep at the wheel (even for a second) can often involve an outcome of catastrophic injury or death.
If you or a loved one have been injured by a drowsy truck driver, you may have legal options. Darrell T. Farr is a seasoned truck accident lawyer who can help you navigate such a complex case and seek compensation for your injuries and damages.
Federal Response to Drowsy Truck Drivers
Did you know that a sleep-deprived driver can present some of the same behaviors as a driver under the influence? Fatigued drivers are at risk for slower reaction times, decreased visual acuity and impaired judgment.
In response to the staggering statistics of truck accidents caused by fatigued drivers, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have recently tightened their regulations. Currently, there are more stringent restrictions in place for truck drivers, including the number of hours they are allowed on the road before requiring a break. Commercial and professional truck drivers can be on the road for up to 11 hours per day, and truckers can drive up to 60 hours in seven days.
Reasons Truck Drivers May Still Be Driving Tired
Despite, the new regulations and standardized schedules of truck drivers, drowsy driving accidents continue to occur. Here are some top reasons why truck drivers are still tired behind the wheel and more likely to cause a serious accident on the road:
- Eleven hours of driving without an extended break is still a long time behind the wheel, and sixty total hours in a week of driving is a heavy load for the average person.
- Truckers often drive at night, when the body is ready for its natural sleep cycle.
- Irregular driving schedules can make it difficult for drivers to actually sleep on their 10-hour breaks. Drivers may resort to sleep-aids, which can impair driving on the next shift.
- Truckers may be pressured by their company to deliver cargo despite going over federally regulated driving time limits. Companies often set deadlines or pay drivers by the mile without considering construction delays or traffic patterns.
- Truck drivers who only drive within the state are not required to abide by federal regulations.
Do you need legal representation after a truck driving accident? Turn to the law office of Darrell T. Farr in Stockbridge. We understand the complexity of truck driving accidents, especially when they involve drowsy driving. Contact us today for a free initial consultation to discuss your possible case.