Trucking accidents often lead to catastrophic consequences. If a trucker does not have adequate rest or cannot see the road ahead, he or she becomes a danger to all other vehicles on the road.
Fortunately, regulations are in place to make trucking safer for everyone on the road.
Long hours put drivers at risk of drowsy driving
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truckers do have to abide by regulations regarding the number of hours they work. However, what a trucker does in his or her off time can be challenging to gauge. The FMCSA cannot know if a driver slept adequate hours between shifts on the road.
However, drivers can only drive for 11 consecutive hours, following 10 hours off-duty. Additionally, drivers must have a 30-minute break after any eight-hour cumulative drive. A trucker who drives more than 60 or 70 hours for seven or eight consecutive days violates the regulations. Drivers must also have 34 hours off duty before any seven to eight-day shift. If a trucker ignores the rules or does not sleep well, he or she could put other vehicles in danger on the road.
How drowsy driving impacts the driver
Most accidents involving a drowsy driver occur between midnight and 6:00 a.m. The driver may not recognize how tired he or she is until too late. When exhausted, your body forces you into microsleeps. The driver may be sleeping for several seconds at a time without recognizing it. Additionally, even if the trucker does not fall asleep at the wheel, his or her reaction time becomes compromised. While big rigs cannot stop quickly, they become even less likely to avoid a crash when tired.
Many people admit to drowsy driving and while a danger for passenger vehicles, truckers often cause more severe accidents.