According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, there were more than 11,000 collisions involving large trucks in 2014. In some cases, trucking accidents are the result of trucker fatigue. This is the case despite regulations, which are aimed at limiting the amount of time that truckers spend on the road.
In order to ensure their safety, as well as that of you and the other drivers with whom they share the road, there are regulations that specify when and how long truckers are allowed to drive. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, these limitations are meant to ensure that truckers stay alert and awake while they are behind the wheel. This may help to reduce the number of commercial vehicle-related collisions.
During any 14-hour shift, truckers are not permitted to drive for any longer than 11 hours. This is only the case, however, if it was eight or more hours since they were last off duty or had a rest for at least 30 minutes. Additionally, have 10 consecutive hours off in between any 14-hour shifts. The law also specifies that heavy truck drivers cannot operate their vehicles for more than 60 hours during any seven consecutive days or 70 hours during any eight consecutive days.
Despite these regulations, truckers may still be drowsy while they are driving. Drowsiness may cause them, and other drivers, to experience impairments similar to those caused by alcohol intoxication. As a result, you, your passengers and others on the road may be at risk of being involved in a serious trucking accident. Truckers who are overly fatigued may experience slowed reaction times and be less able to pay attention to the task of driving. Additionally, their ability to make sound decisions may also be affected.
While not every collision involving commercial vehicles is the result of drowsiness, it is important for you to understand the possible effects that fatigue may have on motorists. This post has provided a general overview of the duty limits for truckers, which may help you to understand whether drowsiness played a role in your accident. However, this post should be considered only as general information and should not be taken as legal advice.