Does the Sleeper Berth Rule Reduce the Risk of Driver Fatigue?
On June 1, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) updated its hours of service rules, including changes to the sleeper berth provision. The prevalence of truck driver fatigue was the driving factor in making these updates to the sleeper berth provision. However, is it working to reduce the risk of truck driver fatigue? Here’s what you need to know.
What is the Split Sleeper Berth Rule?
The updated split sleeper berth exception allows commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to split their rest periods while meeting their 10-hour minimum off-duty requirement. Under the sleeper berth modifications, CMV drivers must spend at least seven consecutive hours in the sleeper berth, combined with a minimum of two hours off-duty (inside or outside of the berth). The FMCSA mandates that all sleeper berth pairings equal at least 10 hours.
Has The Split Sleeper Berth Rule Worked to Reduce Truck Driver Fatigue?
The 2008 FMCSA Large Truck Causation Study reported that 13% of CMV drivers were deemed fatigued at the time of their crash. Since the change to the sleeper berth rule is very recent, there aren’t any specific studies that support whether or not the split sleeper berth rule has impacted reducing the risks of accidents due to truck driver fatigue.
Truck drivers are more prone to driving while fatigued due to the high demand of getting to their destinations on time. This may influence truckers to violate the FMCSA’s hours of service rules. Contributing factors to driver fatigue include:
- Lack of proper sleep
- Extended work hours
- Strenuous work or non-work activities
Truckers driving while fatigued pose severe dangers to everyone on the road. Read on to learn how to get help after being involved in a truck accident.
Get Help After Sustaining Injuries in a Truck Crash
Catastrophic injuries are often the result of a severe truck crash and lead to life-long devastating consequences. If a negligent truck driver injured you or a loved one, you have the right to pursue compensation that can relieve your medical costs and other expenses associated with your injuries. The truck accident lawyers at Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP are ready to protect your rights. We’re here to lend you support when up against challenging times.