Driver Fatigue & Truck Accidents
When you sit behind the wheel of a large vehicle, you have a responsibility
to yourself and to the other drivers on the road to safely operate your
vehicle. Truck drivers in particular bear a heavy burden, for they are
moving some of the largest and heaviest vehicles on the road. For this
reason, it's imperative that they remain alert if you are driving a truck.
Unfortunately, due to the long hours and miles commercial truck drivers
must log, it's no surprise that many of these drivers suffer from
chronic fatigue. If you're a truck driver, you know how exhausting
it can be to drive for hours as you press forward to finish your delivery.
To protect other drivers on the road, the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has put in place certain regulations regarding trucking hours
of operation. These regulations aim to keep overtired truck drivers off
the road and apply specifically to commercial motor vehicles (CMVs).
A vehicle is considered a CMV if:
- It weighs 10,001 lbs+
- It is used to transport 9 people for capital gain
- It is used to transport 16 or more people
- It is used to move hazardous materials
How Long Can a Trucker Drive?
Different regulations are in place for the transportation of people versus
property. When driving people, a truck driver can be actively driving
for no more than 10 hours. If a driver is transporting property, then
he or she can be driving for 11 hours. This law gets a little more complicated
when you add in the 14-hour driving window limit. A truck driver can be
"on driving duty" for 14 hours maximum, per day. Then, he or
she must wait 10 hours before driving again.
These laws are meant to protect the driver, first and foremost. When tired,
it is hard for a truck driver to focus on the road. Their mind is more
likely to drift, as are their wheels. Their reaction time slows, and they
increase the risk of accidentally nodding off in the middle of their route.
Were you hit by a truck driver who fell asleep on the road? Ask our Salisbury
truck accident attorney to
review your case and give you some guidance regarding the best next steps to take after