Truck Driver Fatigue in Boston
Large trucks are involved in fatal crashes at twice the rate of passenger vehicles. In fact, each year, truck crashes kill over 5,000 people and injure approximately 150,000 people in the United States.
The risks of these crashes substantially increase when truck drivers become fatigued. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), more than 750 people die and 20,000 are injured every year due directly to fatigued truck drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that truck driver fatigue is a contributing factor in over 40 percent of all truck crashes. This is a percentage that cannot be ignored.
Any number of factors can cause driver fatigue, including:
- Lack of sleep
- Driving consecutively for too many hours
- Driving with inadequate off-duty time
- Pressure to deliver loads
Negative Effects of Sleep Deprivation While Driving
Being fatigued has a number of negative effects. Sleep deprivation can hinder both the mind and body’s daily functioning. Lack of sleep negatively impacts the following:
- Alertness: Decrease in alertness can occur from losing as little as 1.5 hours of sleep (adults typically need 7 hours each night) resulting in a 32 percent decrease in alertness.
- Memory: Impaired memory and a lessened ability to think clearly and process information efficiently can occur while being fatigued.
- Risk of Injury: The risk of sustaining injury doubles when a person is fatigued.
- Immune System: A person’s immune system weakens while fatigued making him or her more susceptible to illness.
There can be a lot of pressure stemming from employers of truck drivers to drive long hours, travel expansive distances, and get their loads delivered on time. As a result, the government has imposed a set of restrictions concerning the amount of time a commercial truck driver can spend behind the wheel. For example:
- Drivers may drive a maximum of 11 consecutive hours after 10 consecutive hours off-duty.
- Drivers may not drive after more than 60 hours on-duty in one week or drive after more than 70 hours on-duty in eight days.
- Drivers must maintain a record of his or her duty for each 24-hour period.
As a deterrent, drivers or employers who violate the regulations will be fined by the FMCSA anywhere from $1,000 to $11,000 depending on the severity of the violation.
If you, or a family member, have been hurt in a crash with a large truck, contact the lawyers at Kelly & Soto Law. As personal injury attorneys, we can determine who bears liability in a crash or a collision. Our full service law firm also makes it a point to locate and retrieve any and all evidence that can be collected to support your claim. The attorneys at Kelly & Soto Law can help you recover the compensation you deserve for medical care, loss of income, and pain and suffering. For a free consultation and realistic evaluation of your case, call the lawyers at Kelly & Soto Law today at 1.800.LAW.GUYS or fill out the contact form and one of our injury lawyers will contact you directly.