Everyone gets tired while doing their jobs. However, when a truck driver gets fatigued, the result can be fatal. In 2017, 4,102 people died as the result of a truck accident. The majority of these deaths are people in passenger cars, so when a truck driver falls asleep behind the wheel, it is the drivers around that suffer.
To prevent driver fatigue the United States Department of Transportation has rules and regulations regarding truck drivers. These rules keep in mind the truck drivers well-being as well as keep the roads safer. Each time a truck driver beings a shift, it must begin with 10 consecutive hours of rest. In-between rest periods, drivers are limited to 14 hours of being on duty. Three of those hours must be used for breaks while on the road, totaling 11 hours of driving time. After eight hours, the driver must take a 30-minute break as well. A driver is limited to 60 hours total on duty during a seven-day period, and 70 hours during an eight-day period. Before restarting a seven-day work week, a driver must rest for 32 consecutive hours that include hours of 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. twice.
Before 2011, the cut off for time worked for truck drivers was 82 hours. The new rules were put in place to give truck drivers adequate rest. However, many drivers and companies disagreed with the new regulations because they cut down on productive work hours. Since the amount of truck accidents caused by fatigue totals only 7%, compared to brake errors and negligent driving, many people in the industry claim the cuts were unnecessary.
However, the average adult requires seven to nine hours of sleep a night and most truck drivers get less than five. Getting one poor night's rest will not affect your overall health too much in the long run, but consistent low levels of sleep will. More than two consecutive nights sleep under five hours of sleep can affect the ability of a driver. Without enough rest, a fatigued person may have the driving capacity of someone over the legal blood alcohol content limit.
Contact an Aurora Truck Accident Attorney
With the pressure to finish a delivery or to make more money driving, truck drivers may put other people’s lives at risk by avoiding adequate rest. If you were involved in a truck accident, the driver or trucking company may be to blame for your pain and suffering. Contact an experienced Kane County truck accident attorney to see how much your case is worth. Call our office at 630-907-0909 to schedule a free consultation.