Think back to the last time you had to drive for a good portion of the day, such as a road trip or a long drive to visit friends. If you are like the vast majority of people, then tiredness started to set in after only a few hours, usually three or four. Our eyes simply do not like staring ahead and focusing for moving objects for that long. Aches will begin to form in your feet, legs, and arms. Not to mention your mental acuity on the task will fade even faster, leading to dangerous driver distractions.
For these reasons, we all know not to drive while exhausted, as it dramatically increases the chance of a motor vehicle accident. However, time and time again, the core cause behind a devastating or fatal trucking accident is truck driver fatigue. Why are so many truckers hitting the highways while exhausted if they know it is so dangerous?
The answer is they need regular paychecks like everyone else, and trucking companies can legally schedule a truck driver to stay on the road for long, long hours. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations permit the average trucker to be scheduled for 14 hours in a single day, with only three of those hours dedicated to breaks and rest. Not surprisingly, a trucker who has been behind the wheel for 5, 8, 10, or more hours gets tired. Safely controlling a small passenger vehicle is incredibly difficult under such circumstances, but safely steering a large commercial truck is impossible.
The matter gets all the more unfathomable when considering that a 14-hour schedule is not the absolute legal limit for truck driver schedules. There are loopholes in the rules that allow a trucker to work even longer if they never drive outside of a small air mile radius. When everything is considered, it is clear that motorist safety is not the priority of trucking companies, but profits are instead.
Hit by a Tired Trucker? Take Legal Action Today!
If you or a loved one were hurt in a trucking accident caused by an exhausted truck driver, let our St. Louis truck accident attorneys of The Simon Law Firm know. Ever since our firm was founded in 2000, we have been standing up for the rights of the wrongfully injured with focus and excellence. Thanks to our efforts, more than $1 billion in verdicts and settlements have been secured by our personal injury attorneys. Contact us for a free case evaluation to discover what we can do for your case.