According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), about 13 percent of truck drivers operating commercial vehicles suffered from driver fatigue when a truck accident occurred. While driver fatigue can affect any motorist, it tends to be a particular problem when it comes to truck drivers and the trucking industry in general, as:
- Truck drivers typically receive bonuses or other incentives for delivering cargo ahead of schedule, which increases the likelihood that they will compromise needed sleep and rest to be on the road for longer periods of time.
- Trucking companies often set unrealistic schedules for drivers, placing a greater emphasis on profit over safety.
Driver Fatigue and Alertness Study
The Driver Fatigue and Alertness Study (DFAS) conducted by the Essex Corporation (and involving various federal institutions, trucking associations and motor carriers in the U.S. and Canada) has been pivotal in shedding light on truck driver fatigue. Specifically, the DFAS found that:
- The time of day, rather than the hours spent on a particular task, played a bigger role in affecting truck driver alertness and performance. Truck drivers were about 8 times more likely to be drowsy, fatigued and less responsive between about midnight and 6am than during other times of the day or night.
- Truck drivers, in general, only got about 5 hours of sleep. This is about 2 hours shy of an ideal rest/sleep period of 7 hours.
- Truck drivers were not usually accurate at assessing their own levels of alertness, as they tend to overstate their alertness when they are, in fact, fatigued.
To try to combat driver fatigue-related truck accidents, the FMCSA has passed federal “hours-of-service” regulations that stipulate the maximum number of hours truck drivers are allowed to work, as well as the minimum required rest or off-duty time that truck drivers must comply with when on the road.
St. Louis, Missouri Truck Accident Lawyers
The St. Louis truck accident lawyers at Brown & Brown Attorneys at Law have a long-standing commitment to serving our clients, and we are experienced at aggressively defending our clients’ rights in any legal setting. Our goal is to preserve and promote the rights and welfare of individuals and families who have suffered injuries and losses and/or who need help navigating through the complexities of the court system.
Since 1993, our lawyers have been successfully representing our clients in traffic accident cases, workers’ compensation cases, wrongful death cases, defective product and dangerous drug cases and various other areas of personal injury litigation. Our unwavering dedication to the pursuit of justice in every case we handle means that we will work relentlessly to help our clients achieve the best possible outcomes to their cases.
If you were involved in a truck accident and are currently in need of a Missouri or Illinois truck accident lawyer, we encourage you to email us using the form at the right-hand side of the screen and/or to call us at (573) 333-3333 for our Missouri office or at (618) 888-8888 for our Illinois office. We offer free consultations.