A career in trucking comes with many advantages and disadvantages. While many people choose to become truck drivers for the job security and decent pay, they often find it difficult to deal with the rigorous schedule. Truck drivers are often required to spend many long hours on the road, with little to no interaction with others.
It should come as no surprise that many commercial vehicle accidents in New York are caused by truck drivers who fall asleep at the wheel. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, studies show that driver fatigue contributes to approximately 30 to 40% of heavy truck accidents.
FMCSA limits driving hours for truckers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates driver hours of service in an effort to reduce the number of accidents caused by driver fatigue. Some of these regulations for drivers of property-carrying trucks include:
- 11 driving hours maximum following 10 consecutive hours off duty.
- 30-minute break for eight cumulative hours of driving.
- No driving after 60 on-duty hours in 7 days or 70 on-duty hours in 8 days.
In addition to adhering to federal and state trucking regulations, truck drivers should also take steps to ensure that they are fully alert behind the wheel. Drivers should make sure to get a full night’s rest, eat healthy, pull over and take short naps when needed, and monitor themselves for signs of drowsiness (e.g., frequent yawning or blurred vision).
Truck drivers who violate hours of service regulations or negligently drive while drowsy may be liable for any accident they cause. A personal injury attorney can help truck accident victims recover damages for their medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses relating to the accident.