Most drivers know of the dangers associated with drunk driving, but did you know that drowsy driving is just as dangerous? For some reason, many truck drivers are still in denial that driving while tired is just as bad as driving while intoxicated; however, it’s the truth. When someone is drowsy, similar effects occur such as poor judgment and delayed response time.
Because the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration knows just how dangerous drowsy driving can be, they set strict limits on truck drivers’ hours last year, including:
- not driving more than 11 hours each day without a 30-minute rest break
- not working more than 14 hours in a 24-hour period
- limiting truckers to no more than 60 or 70 hours a week depending on the type of trucking
- requiring a 24-hour rest period after workweek limits are reached
- requiring truckers to keep track of their sleep time and time spent driving, loading and unloading
While these limits seem good to others in order to keep motorists safe, truck drivers and the trucking industry as a whole oppose these rules. In fact, there is a current proposal that Congress is considering that would allow truck drivers to drive as many as 82 hours a week. Truckers don’t want to be told when they need to rest, and many don’t like the new laws because they are getting hit in their pocketbooks. Because these new laws reduce productivity and many independent truckers get paid by the mile, many truckers are ignoring the new hours-of-service laws.
The problem with this is that drowsy driving is still a very real problem facing our nation. Not only do Florida truck crashes occur as a result of drowsy driving, but trucking accidents throughout the United States continue to happen due to tired drivers.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 1,550 fatalities over the last ten years have been caused by drowsy driving. In fact, it is estimated that over 70,000 personal injuries annually occur as a result of drowsy driving crashes. But the truth is the numbers are much higher because many drowsy driving accidents go underreported at accident scenes.
When truck drivers ignore the laws and continue to press on, many innocent motorists can get hurt. Unfortunately, drowsy driving is more of a problem than ever before. If you have been injured in a truck crash, or your loved one has died, drowsy driving may be to blame. An experienced Fort Lauderdale trucking accident attorney will know what to look for and how to prove negligence on the part of the truck driver. For help with your case, call the Law Offices of David Benenfeld at [number type=”2″] or [number type=”1″] for a free consultation today.