The Safety Risks of Truck Driver Fatigue
The Mayo Clinic describes fatigue as “...a nearly constant state of weariness that develops over time and reduces your energy, motivation, and concentration.” While we may all have experienced fatigue at one time or another in our lives, truck drivers are more likely to have repeated episodes of fatigue which means an increased risk of causing a truck crash. Here’s what the statistics say about the prevalence of fatigue among U.S. truckers.
Truck Driver Fatigue Statistics
There are many reasons why truck drivers are more likely to experience fatigue. Many fail to take proper required rest breaks due to the high demands of getting to their destinations on time. Not taking rest breaks combined with driving long hauls and completing strenuous work activities is a recipe for fatigue and exhaustion. A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) had the following findings related to truck driver fatigue:
- Long-haul truckers in the study had less sleep than required for alertness on the job.
- Driver fatigue is the number one problem in commercial transportation.
- 56% of truck drivers in the study had at least one 6-minute interval of drowsiness while driving.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is well aware of the persistent problem of truck driver fatigue. According to the FMCSA’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study, 13% of commercial motor vehicle drivers were considered fatigued at the time of their crash. Read on to learn more about how the FMCSA is working to reduce the risk of truck crashes caused by driver fatigue.
What is The FMCSA Doing to Mitigate Truck Driver Fatigue?
As of August 1, 2019, the FMCSA has made changes to the Hours of Service Rules to minimize the risk of truck driver fatigue and includes the following changes:
- The maximum average workweek for truckers was reduced from 82 hours to 70 hours.
- Truck drivers who reach the 70-hour weekly driving limit to resume working if they have rested for at least 34 consecutive hours.
- Truck drivers must take a 30-minute break during their first 8-hour shift.
The 11-hour daily driving limit and 14-hour workday rule remain the same.
Related Article: What is the FMCSA Sleeper Berth Provision For Truckers?
Get Help After Sustaining Injuries in a Truck Crash
Being injured in a truck accident is a shocking experience as passenger cars are unmatched against such massive vehicles in weight and size. When facing catastrophic injuries, not only is the healing process long and painful, and can come with financial burdens on you and your family. When you need help recovering medical costs and other expenses associated with your injuries, our truck accident lawyers are here to help you receive the compensation you deserve.
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