Driver Fatigue is a key factor in many crashes involving large trucks. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), 1 in 8 highway crashes involve large trucks and 13% of those truck accidents are caused by truck driver fatigue. In 2013, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released new regulations that limit drivers to:
However, the 2013 regulations neglected to address how long interstate truck drivers could drive to get to work to begin their shift. Many of us are used to commuting to and from work and a 1 or 2 hour commute is common in dense urban areas. We never consider that the driver of a large multi-ton truck speeding down the highway may have driven 6 hours or more before they even started their shift.
This driving of ‘off duty hours to work on duty hours’ played out tragically in the 2014 crash that killed comedian James McNair and seriously injured comedian Tracy Morgan in New Jersey. Driver fatigue and excessive speed were cited as the cause of the accident and, according to the accident report, “the truck driver made an 800-mile overnight drive from his home in Georgia to his workplace in Delaware” to start his shift without sleeping a wink.
Since the incident, the NTSB has made recommendations to support stronger Fatigue Management Programs for interstate truck drivers which takes into account a driver’s commute to and from their duty place. Overall, truck drivers are subject to stringent hours of service regulations to stem the problem of driver fatigue, however, sometimes those rules are ignored by truckers or their companies who may be more concerned with making timely deliveries putting all motorists at risk.
Contact An Experienced Iowa Truck Driver Fatigue Accident Lawyer
If you or a family member has been injured in a motor vehicle accident involving a commercial truck, it is important to contact an experienced truck driver fatigue accident lawyer to determine exactly what lead up to the incident and if all trucking regulations were followed. Contact the Iowa truck accident lawyers of John T. Hemmminger Law Firm at 515-283-2116 for immediate assistance.
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