As lawyers who’ve handled numerous accident cases throughout Philadelphia and the rest of the country involving delivery trucks and many other types of motor vehicles, we know that there are multiple reasons why they occur. However, one of the biggest reasons why truck accidents undoubtedly happen is because of fatigue. In fact, according to some sources it’s estimated that driver fatigue causes nearly 40% of truck accidents.
Unfortunately, this figure is high because many drivers face demanding deadlines, need to abide by rigorous schedules, and work long hours. Ultimately, fatigue—and the pressure from the driver’s employer to keep going despite it—often impairs the judgment of the person who is behind the wheel.
What’s Been Done to Help Prevent Truck Driver Fatigue
Many truck drivers across the United States don’t command high salaries and work longer hours than the average American worker. This fact alone leaves many of them incredibly tired, and thus both their mental and physical well-being affected.
Luckily, the federal government has, after several years of moderate to severe truck accidents, changed the rules and hours for truck drivers. As of July 1, 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), limited the maximum average work week for truck drivers to 70 hours. They also declared that drivers who reached 70 hours within a week must rest for 34 consecutive hours, which includes two nights when their body clocks demand sleep the most (1:00 AM to 5:00 AM.) Last, but not least, drivers can only work up to 14 hours a day, 11 of which can be spent behind the wheel.
Despite the rules that have been put in place by the U.S. government, there still have been many instances where trucking companies and drivers themselves have not followed them. Furthermore, even though drivers are expected to maintain a log book of their driving hours, numbers can be falsified, and are not a good indicator of how many hours the driver is on the road.
If you’ve recently been involved in a truck accident and believe fatigue was the cause, it’s important for you to reach out to us here at Fellerman & Ciarimboli to obtain compensation for any injuries or loss. We offer free legal consultations for truck accident cases that occurred in Philadelphia and all over the United States. To schedule a meeting with one of our lawyers, please dial 888-570-HURT, or fill out a contact form.