Truck driver fatigue is a contributing cause of many of truck accidents in Pennsylvania and throughout the country. Truck driver fatigue is a common problem among overworked drivers scheduled for long hours of hauling heavy loads cross-country on sometimes very tight deadlines. Truck drivers dealing with lack of sleep or exhaustion may not be able to react as quickly as well-rested drivers and could easily nod off behind the wheel, causing a deadly situation for drivers of other vehicles. To help combat truck driver fatigue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) instituted Hours of Service Regulations.
FMCSA Hours of Service Regulations for Truck Drivers
- 11-hour driving limit – May drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off.
- 14-hour limit – May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty.
- Rest breaks – May drive only if 8 hours or less have passed since the end of driver’s last off-duty or sleeper berth period of at least 30 minutes.
Drowsy or fatigued drivers pose a risk to everyone on the road. When driving a heavy vehicle at the maximum speed limit on a major highway or interstate, even the briefest delay in the reaction can cause a fatal truck accident. Trucks can weigh 20 to 30 times as much as a passenger car and can have a reduced braking capacity as the result of heavy loads. A tragic aspect of a truck accident death caused by driver fatigue is that it could have easily been prevented. Truck drivers, who disregard the federal hours of service regulations, falsifying logbooks, or just disregarding the law, are negligent. Their employers, the trucking companies who force them to work in disregard of the regulations, are also negligent in causing any accident that may occur as a result of their disregard of the law and breach of duty of care.
Large Truck Accident Statistics
- According to the U.S. Department of Transpiration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), a total of 3,602 people died in large truck crashes in 2013.
- The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) reported that most deaths in large truck crashes are passenger vehicle occupants.
- The NHTSA reported that an estimated 95,000 people were injured in crashes involving large trucks in 2013.
- 79% of accidents involving large trucks occurred on weekdays.
It’s time to hold negligent truck drivers and trucking companies accountable for the injuries and fatalities they’ve caused. The truck driver fatigue attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli will fight to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries, including medical and rehabilitative costs, pain and suffering, property damage, as well as any lost wages.
Call the truck accident attorneys in Philadelphia or Wilkes-Barre today
If you have been injured or a loved one killed in an accident caused by truck driver fatigue or a truck driver asleep at the wheel, contact the experienced truck accident lawyers in Philadelphia and Wilkes-Barre. Determining liability in a truck accident is not easy, and the truck accident attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli have the knowledge to determine the cause quickly and accurately. Call 215-575-9237 to speak to a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer or 570-714-HURT to speak to a Wilkes-Barre truck accident lawyer. Our consultations are always free and confidential.
With more than 40 years of combined experience, the personal injury attorneys at Fellerman & Ciarimboli strive to provide the best service to clients in Philadelphia, Northeast Pennsylvania, and throughout the Keystone State.