Dangers of Drowsy Driving in the Trucking IndustryPublished: Oct 29, 2018 in Auto Accident, Personal Injury, Truck Accident
The trucking industry plays a vital role in the nation’s economy by delivering goods to various businesses and warehouses across the country. In fact, over 15 million commercial trucks carry more than 70 percent of the country’s goods each year. Unfortunately, the industry has seen a 20 percent increase in commercial truck accidents over the past 10 years. Most of these accidents were caused by drowsy truck drivers who have been working long hours without enough sleep. Considering the massive size and weight of the average truck, the occupants of the other vehicle involved often suffer serious and fatal injuries.
Truck drivers are known for spending long hours behind the wheel, often on too little sleep. According to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Medicine’s Sleep Medicine Division, close to half of all truck drivers who participated in the study admitted to drifting off while behind the wheel of a commercial truck. This is extremely troubling because driving while drowsy can have similar effects as if the driver were intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. In fact, if a driver has been awake for 17 straight hours or more, it can have the same effect as if he or she had a blood alcohol content of 0.5, which can impair a driver’s judgment, coordination, and ability to react quickly to a hazardous situation.
Making Changes to Address Drowsy Driving
Government agencies like the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have enforced stricter regulations in response to the drowsy driving issue that has become such a serious problem in the trucking industry. One of the main changes includes the Hours of Service regulation, which limits the number of hours a truck driver can be on duty before he or she must take a break. In addition, the truck driver must take the required amount of time off in between shifts. These regulations were put in place to keep truck drivers, as well as the other motorists sharing the road, safe and protected from devastating truck accidents.
Unfortunately, too many truck drivers push themselves to drive longer hours because of the strict deadlines they are trying to meet. Pressure from the trucking company to deliver goods on time results in an alarming number of truck drivers on the road who are exhausted, and more likely to cause an accident. When a commercial truck is involved in a fatal accident with a passenger vehicle, it is the occupant of the passenger vehicle who is fatally injured 98 percent of the time.
Edwardsville Truck Accident Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Seek Justice for Victims of Truck Accidents
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a truck accident, do not hesitate to contact the highly skilled and experienced Edwardsville truck accident lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC. We have a proven track record of securing successful outcomes for truck accident victims. We will thoroughly investigate the details of your accident and secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve for your injuries. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 618-277-3644 or contact us online.
Our office is in Swansea, Illinois, where we represent clients throughout southern Illinois and the Metro East Region, including Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, St. Louis, St. Clair County, Madison County, Randolph County, and Monroe County.