How Driver Fatigue Is The Leading Cause Of Truck Accidents In Arizona
Truck Driver Fatigue: Contributing Factors, Causes & How To Reduce It
Every year, approximately 2 million people in the United States are injured in some kind of motor vehicle accident. While the type and severity of injuries from these accidents will vary significantly depending on a wide variety of factors, crashes involving trucks tend to be much more catastrophic for the people who are involved.
If you’re an Arizona resident, you’ve probably noticed the large commercial trucks and semi trucks driving on the state highways and interstate. Because of their large structure, weight, force, and size, any vehicle collision with a truck is especially dangerous for both drivers and passengers. Most of the severe accidents in Arizona involve large trucks.
Of course, there are many different factors which contribute to truck and vehicle accidents, but truck driver fatigue is a leading cause. In fact, one study reported that 13 percent of commercial drivers were fatigued at the time a collision took place. Another study identified fatigue as a primary cause in 31% of accidents in which driver fatality occurred. If you or a loved one was injured in a crash that may have occurred due to truck driver fatigue, contact a trusted Mesa injury attorney to learn about your options.
Contributing Factors To Truck Driver Fatigue
Especially in the modern economy, truck drivers are frequently under intense pressure from their employers to transport their freight as quickly and efficiently as possible. Driving their load from one destination to another is important, but safety must always take a higher priority. Unfortunately, too many truck drivers find themselves forced to drive more hours than they can manage, or make the decision to drive their trucks, at a time when they are too fatigued to navigate and drive safely.
Truck driver safety regulations are maintained and enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is a branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation. Truck drivers and their employers are required to follow certain rules to drive their loads safely and appropriately. There are also regulations that serve as a guideline for how to utilize trucking equipment and technology.
Causes Of Accidents Involving Commercial Trucks
The following are noted by Mesa truck accident lawyers as being some of the most common contributing factors to truck accidents:
- Unfamiliar roads and difficulty with navigation
- Brake malfunction
- Truck driver fatigue
- Inadequate surveillance
- Driving too quickly for road conditions
- Illegal maneuvers
- Distracted driving
- Pressure to meet delivery deadlines
- Over the counter drug use
- Drowsiness due to prescription medications
- Excessively long routes
These causes indicate the real threat of truck driver fatigue. Sleep deprivation and lack of sleep, along with medications, contribute significantly to collisions that happen during long trips. According to the FMCSA, “A 2005 study suggests that three out of every four CMV drivers report having experienced at least one type of driving error as a result of drowsiness.” Clearly, truck driver fatigue is a significant issue for both truck drivers themselves and drivers in other vehicles on the roads. If you’ve been negatively affected by truck driver fatigue, contact a Mesa truck accident lawyer to learn more about your options.
FMCSA Hopes To Reduce Accidents With Trucker Rules & Guidelines
With truck collisions increasing, the FMCSA has attempted to reduce these accidents, along with their associated injuries and fatalities, with rules and regulations. These include requirements such as the following:
- No more than 11 consecutive hours of travel time
- No more than 14 hours on duty consecutively
- Must take 10 hours of rest while off duty
- Truck drivers may not drive more than 60 hours for every seven days on duty
- Truck drivers may not drive more than 70 hours for every eight days on duty
The rules and regulations from the FMCSA have helped to reduce truck driver fatigue, but the industry as a whole may need to make additional improvements to increase overall safety.
Contact An Experienced Auto Accident Attorney Today
Truck driver fatigue is a real and significant issue. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident involving a commercial truck, contact your Mesa personal injury attorneys to find out if you may be entitled to compensation for your losses and expenses. Arizona is a hotspot for shipped goods from across the country, attracting a high number of commercial trucks. This is beneficial for our economy but increases the risk of accidents and injury due to collision with big rigs.
Collisions with trucks can be some of the most deadly and devastating types of auto accidents. The team at Injury Lawyers Mesa is ready to help you navigate your options. We will investigate the situation and prepare a plan for negotiation to help you get