Industrial vehicles sometimes weigh nearly 80,000 pounds. They’re difficult to control, plus they are very difficult to manage when running at full-speed down a Michigan interstate or a freeway. Due to their reduced capability to respond at a moment’s notice, tired drivers are unlikely to make life-saving choices on the highway. They might be unable to think clearly while exhausted. The National Transportation Safety Board indicates that commercial or industrial driver fatigue can account for over 40% of all truck accidents.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association released a brand new rule by making modifications towards the “hours of service” for truck owners to prevent tired driving. It is complex, but integrated two basic needs. The first is the fact that drivers must take at least one 30 minute break during an 8 hour shift. The second rule updated the usage of the 34-hour rest period, referred to as the “restart.” The 2011 rule limited truck drivers by only allowing one restart every 7 days, and maintained that the drivers take two breaks between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. It gives the drivers a chance to have a much needed break and ensure they are rested before beginning another lengthy week. Those changes aim to lessen the typical hours in a given week from 82 to 70.
Hours of Service violations may increase driver fatigue in a variety of ways, including:
• Truck drivers tend to drive more, as it can make them more money.
• Trying to reach impossible deadlines, thus keeping them on the road longer.
• Some drivers are forced by their superiors to worked extended hours, despite complaints to upper management. Doing so risks not only the lives of the driver, but others on the road. Unfortunately, some drivers choose this option out of fear of losing their job.
• Being exhausted on the road can lead to crashes. Not having the wherewithal to make sound decisions inevitably puts everyone in danger.
Factors Causing Truck Driver Fatigue
The Truck Safety Coalition and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety state that tired driving is born from factors other than from working too long of a shift.
• Insufficient parking.
• When calling in sick, being forced to work despite not feeling 100%.
• Being forced to stay at a drop-off too long from factors beyond their control.
• Waking up truck drivers during their break time to answer trivial questions.
• Being threatened by management when calling in sick.
Call an Experienced Michigan 18-Wheeler Crash Attorney
If you or a loved one were involved in a wreck with a commercial truck you likely sustained serious or even life-threatening injuries. Trucking accidents caused by fatigued drivers are preventable by following hours of service regulations and pulling over to rest when tired. If you have been involved in an accident with a truck driver whose performance may have been diminished by fatigue, it is necessary to speak to a skilled Michigan truck accident attorney to hold those responsible for such accidents fully accountable. Please do not hesitate to call Michigan Injury Lawyers at 313-GET-HELP for a free consultation today.