Tired Truckers: A National Problem

About half of America’s 450,000 annual truck crashes involve only the truck driver. Of those, a surprising number are the result of a very specific kind of driver error. To better understand this issue, we need to talk about the national problem of tired truckers.

The Facts

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an annual 55,000 truck crashes are caused by drowsy truck drivers or drivers who have altogether fallen asleep at the wheel. That means about 150 fatigued truck drivers cause crashes every single night.

About half of all truck drivers self-report driving while fatigued or otherwise too tired to operate safely. A portion of those cite pressure from their carrier as the direct cause, believing they had no choice but to drive beyond their hours of service limits.

The Reasons

There are two big problems contributing to the issues of tired truckers. First, America faces a trucker shortage. Second, carriers are pushing drivers beyond their hours of service limits.

At present, there are about 3.5 million truckers on American roads. However, trucking interest groups claim the industry needs between 50,000-85,000 more drivers to meet current quotas. That means existing delivery drivers often pick up the slack and make extra deliveries to account for the shortage.

This shortage, in turn, means that truckers spend more hours behind the wheel and are pressured to go beyond their maximum hours to deliver cargo on a precise schedule. Addressing this issue will be difficult, but it starts by making sure truck drivers are able to take the time they need to rest and recover.

If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries or even wrongful death in a truck crash accident, you might have a case. If you'd like an experienced DeKalb County car accident attorney from Turner & Sackett LLC to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (800) 761-0993.

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