According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 13% of all semi-truck collisions are due to truck driver fatigue. Truck drivers have an enormous responsibility while traveling along the roads of Connecticut. They are not only held accountable for the goods in which they are carrying, but they are also responsible to meet strict deadlines put in place by their employers. The combination of these work duties creates a disastrous situation for other motorists on the roads and highways in Connecticut.
The United States Department of Transportation estimates about 8,000 large truck accidents each and every year due to tired motorists. As these truck drivers attempt to make deadlines, they often push themselves to drive far too many hours. Not only is operating these trucks for long hours tiring, but it is also incredibly dangerous. Truck driver fatigue is a serious problem that has led to far too many accidents in the last decade.
As the industry continues to pressure these commercial truck drivers to move cargo quickly and efficiently, fatigued motorists will continue to fill the roads. The residents of Connecticut must understand that there is little to be done to limit the number of fatigued drivers. Nevertheless, there are many safety precautions that can be taken to avoid a collision with a large truck.
Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers has been advocates of driver safety for many, many years. We believe that Connecticut residents deserve adequate protection of their rights. As a result, we work tirelessly in the pursuit of justice for our clients in Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven and across the entire state of Connecticut. To speak with a truck accident attorney, complete a Free Case Evaluation today.
Truck Driver Fatigue: Signs And Causes
Truck drivers have a great amount of pressure to transfer goods within a specified amount of time. Not only are these truckers often paid by the mile, but they are often rewarded for arriving at a destination prior to the scheduled delivery time. As a result, truckers typically push themselves to continue to drive long after they should have stopped to rest. Some of the most common signs of truck driver fatigue include but are not limited to:
- Tired eyes
- Drifting into and out of lanes
- Overall drowsiness
To counteract these signs of exhaustion, truck drivers often take drugs or stimulants to keep them awake. Unfortunately, these stimulants have the potential to greatly impair the motorist’s judgment. When a collision does occur, the trucker’s company is held liable for any damages or injuries that occur. Connecticut residents must exercise extra caution when traveling on highways where many large semitrucks are present. The following are some of the most common sources of truck driver fatigue:
- Driver is in a rush to get home.
- Trucker is attempting to make it to a destination prior to the onset of heavy traffic or adverse weather conditions.
- Drivers pushing themselves to drive late into the night to beat deadlines.
- Truckers attempting to achieve bonuses from their employers for making better timing.
Regardless of the particular causes of truck driver fatigue, Connecticut drivers need to understand the serious risk involved in traveling in close proximity to a truck. Paying attention to the signs related to the onset of drowsiness will help drivers to avoid a crash. For more information, please complete a Free Case Evaluation at your earliest convenience.
Regulations To Moderate Truck Driver Fatigue
The last several years have been plagued with a growing number of truck accidents. In an attempt to limit the number of fatigued truckers on the road, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has made adjustments to its hours-of-service regulations. In doing so, the FMCSA has decreased the number of uninterrupted time that a trucker operates their vehicle. As of July 2013, the FMCSA regulations are as follows:
- Truckers are not to work over 60 hours in a 7-day workweek or 70 hours in an 8-day workweek.
- Truck drivers must not return to work until they have had 34 hours off; the FMCSA calls this the “restart” provision.
- Truckers operating interstate commercial trucks must not drive for more than 11 hours or 14 hours after the start of a shift without a 10-hour break.
- In the use of sleeper births, the commercial truck driver can break up their 10-hour daily break between at least 2 hours in the sleeper birth or off duty and at least 8 hours in the sleeper berth.
The FMCSA hopes that these rules and regulations will greatly reduce the number of motor vehicle collisions involving large trucks. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, our personal injury lawyers are prepared to take on your case today. Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers is passionate in our pursuit of justice for all Connecticut residents.
Contact A Truck Accident Lawyer Today
With office locations in New Haven, Bridgeport, Hartford, Waterbury and New London, Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers is able to service the entire state of Connecticut. Our attorneys have been practicing truck accident law for years. Utilizing this experience, knowledge and expert resources, our legal team builds a strong case for our clients. Our goal is to make every aspect of the litigation process as easy as possible for Connecticut accident victims. If you are unable to make it to one of our office locations, we will come to you – whether at home, in the hospital or any location in Connecticut.