Truck accidents are one of the most dangerous types of motor vehicle accidents, killing over 5,000 people each year and injuring 150,000 more. There are numerous causes of truck accidents; however, driver fatigue is one of the most dangerous and one of the most common causes for a crash.
A report done by the Journal of Public Health Policy, 31 percent of truck drivers did admit to driving more than the weekly hours of service limit, with 19 percent of drivers stating that they had fallen asleep at the wheel one or more times. This number is a serious number and should not be taken lightly.
Often times, truck drivers will openly admit to driving while fatigued. Reports show that truck drivers explanation for violating the hour or service limit include tight schedule, needing the money, traffic, and inclement weather.
A recent new factor that adds to the truck driver-fatigue problem is that in many parts of the country, local and county officials have rejected requests by truck stop owners and developers to open additional rest-stop facilities where long-distance truckers can sleep, eat, shower, make phone calls, etc… The lack of truck stops will increase the likelihood that a driver that is fatigued will still continue to drive and push himself or herself past the fatigue point, causing great danger to themselves and all other drivers on the roads and highways.
Preventing Truck Driver Fatigue
According to Federal Motor Carrier Regulations (FMCSR), commercial motor vehicle companies are supposed to be helping to eliminate truck driver fatigue by the following:
- Restrict hours of service
- Manage truck schedules
- Give the opportunity to obtain adequate sleep
- Limit night time driving to a minimum
It is important that truck drivers be regulated so that commercial motor vehicle companies can do their part in helping to prevent future accidents. These rules should be enforced. In addition, statistics show that fatigue contributes to 8 percent of all fatal truck crashes, enforcing these regulations would help decrease this number substantially.
Commercial vehicles make up only 4 percent of all registered vehicles but remain the most dangerous when it comes to fatigued driving because of the extra weight that is carried in the shipment. As a result factors affecting truck stopping distance in the event of an accident include: speed, weather/road surface, tires, weight, and brakes. All of these factors need an appropriate reaction time in order to prevent a truck accident from occurring.
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Contact a Michigan Truck Accident Lawyer
Our Buckfire & Buckfire, P.C. truck accident lawyers represent truck accident injury victims in Michigan involving trucks, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians. We are dedicated to protecting your interests and handling your case with personal attention, professionalism, and compassion.
For more information regarding your rights, call us now at (800) 606-1717 to speak with one of experienced attorneys about your case, or simply fill out the Get Help Now box to the right of this page and “Click to Submit.” An experienced truck accident lawyer will get back to you shortly.