Drowsy driving kills. Each year, hundreds of people die and tens of thousands suffer injuries in accidents involving a drowsy or fatigued driver. Many of these accidents are avoidable if drivers, especially commercial truckers, pulled over when they are no longer safe to drive. That still raises the question, why are truck drivers falling asleep at the wheel?
Drowsy Driving Statistics
A study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), suggests nearly 1 in 9 truck drivers involved in an accident reported fatigue and drowsy driving as the direct cause of the crash. An additional 40% of commercial truck drivers claimed fatigue and pressure from work as contributing factors.
Drowsy Driving Regulations
In 2013, the FMSCA enacted trucking regulations that would limit the number of consecutive hours a truck driver could be on the road. However, many commercial truck drivers still face pressure from their employers to deliver shipments on a precise schedule. Many truckers feel they must continue driving past the legal limit to deliver their shipments on time.
Drowsy Driving Responsibilities
Keep in mind the harm a truck represents; it is an 80,000lb piece of metal moving at 60-70mph. Truckers who fall asleep at the wheel are selfishly risking the lives of everyone around their vehicle. Truck drivers have a duty and an obligation to pull over and take a rest before they go over their limits.
Furthermore, trucking companies and supervisors have a legal obligation to ensure safe practices for their drivers. Pressuring employees to drive past their hours of service limit is illegal, irresponsible, and potentially deadly.
If someone you love suffered wrongful death at the hands of a truck driver, we are here to listen. If you’d like a Denver truck injury attorney from Springer & Steinberg to evaluate your case, please don’t hesitate to call (303) 861-2800 or send us an email.