Causes of Truck Crashes: Drowsy Driving

The majority of people do not like driving next to or behind semi trucks on the highway. This may be due to the fact that truckers have a reputation for driving aggressively and driving when they are sleep-deprived. Drivers of passenger vehicles also worry about truck drivers not seeing their cars on the road, which commonly occurs due to the large blind spots of trucks. While large trucks cannot be eradicated since they significantly contribute to our society, the amount of truck accidents which occur may be reduced by having a firm grasp on some of the leading causes.

Poor Driving Habits Cause Many Truck Accidents in Atlanta

One of the biggest factors for the increase in truck crashes is truckers who drive drowsy. This often happens because truckers want to hurry up and get home or have monetary incentives to deliver products early or on-time. This may lead to a truck operator driving too many hours in a row without the proper sleep, which leads to drowsy driving. Drowsy driving affects not only truck drivers, but drivers of passenger vehicles as well. It describes a situation in which a driver of a car or truck gets behind the wheel when feeling tired, fatigued, or sleepy. Most people know when they are sleep-deprived and shouldn't drive. While some truckers follow the rules and regulations of the industry regarding hours of service, others do not comply.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rules regarding the amount of time truck drivers can spend behind the wheel. These hours-of-service regulations are in place to keep truckers and the innocent drivers sharing the road with them safe. The FMCSA's website says that when setting these hours, experts reviewed fatigue research and conducted scientific reviews, working with other government agencies in order to ensure public and truck driver safety.

What are the rules regarding rest time?

  • Truck drivers cannot drive for more than 14 hours in a row without a ten hour break.
  • Truck drivers have to take an eight hour sleep break for every 24 hours they drive.
  • Truck drivers cannot drive more than 60 hours in one week or 70 hours in eight days. For every seven days of driving, 34 hours of off-duty time is required.

These rules are supposed to help decrease drowsy driving and keep sleep-deprived drivers off the roads. While some truckers and trucking companies comply with these regulations, others don't. Driving while fatigued can lead to slowed and delayed responses, causing serious truck crashes and injuries. If you have been injured by a negligent trucker in an Atlanta truck crash, then call attorney Tony Kalka at the Kalka & Baer LLC to get your legal questions answered.