According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2.24 million people were injured in some kind of motor vehicle collision in 2010. Naturally, truck drivers frequent the roads and highways of North Carolina much more regularly than that of other motorists. As a result, trucks take the blame for a large percentage of the number of accidents, injuries, and associated fatalities. Sleep deprivation is one of the most prominent factors contributing to these collisions each year.
Recent studies have stated that upwards of 30 percent of all semi-truck collisions are due to some kind of truck driver fatigue. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, each year the United States sustains 8,000 truck accidents related to a tired driver. A number of factors contribute to truck accidents, yet sleep deprivation is a factor that can be addresses.
In order to reduce the number of truck injuries and fatalities each year, drivers must understand the massive impact that their decisions have on not only their lives, but the lives of so many others traveling on the North Carolina roads and highways. As industry pressure continually mounts, truck drivers must do their best to keep safety as a priority, even in cases when a shipment will be late.
Lewis & Keller has years of experience in driver fatigue litigation. If a tired driver was the cause of an accident, he/she must be held accountable for the injuries that they inflict on other drivers. With offices in Winston-Salem and Greensboro, our staff of experienced lawyers is able to service all North Carolina residents.
To learn more, please complete a Free Case Evaluation today.
Top Factors Contributing to Truck Accidents
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, is responsible for enforcing safety regulations for truck drivers across the United States. Using technology, equipment, and operational adjustments, the organization continually strives to improve the state of truck drivers in the nation. By increasing safety awareness, the FMCSA hopes to significantly reduce the number of accident related to driver fatigue.
In a recent study, the FMCSA released a drowsy driver and truck crash statistics report specifying the principal causes of truck collisions. The top 10 factors contributing to large truck accidents are:
- Brake problems
- Speeding too fast for conditions
- Unfamiliar roads
- Roadway problems
- Use of over-the-counter drugs
- Inadequate surveillance
- Pressure from carrier to meet deadlines
- Illegal maneuvers
- Distracted driving
About 65 percent of these collisions occurred during long trips. As traveling distance increases, so does the likelihood of a crash. Sleep loss and deprivation most certainly contributes to these accidents. In fact, the same study found that 1 in every 4 drivers admits to have fallen asleep in the last month while driving. If you or a loved one has been injured by a fatigued truck driver, a Winston-Salem truck accident lawyer is here to help.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation today to get started.
Rules and Regulations
As the number of collisions continued to rise in previous years, more and more rules and regulations have been established to protect the safety of the roads from these fatigued truck drivers. Feeling the pressure from their employers to meet deadlines, many truck drivers push themselves past their physical limits to make good timing or travel a certain distance.
In an effort to reduce the number of fatigued driver accidents, the FMCSA has established the following regulations:
- Truck drivers can only work a maximum of 14 hours on-duty consecutively
- Truck drivers can only drive a maximum of 11 hours in a row
- Off-duty drivers must tally a minimum of 10 nonstop hours of rest
- Truck drivers cannot go above a maximum of 60 hours per 7 days on-duty or 70 hours per 8 days on-duty
With the help of these rules and regulations, truck drivers are now forced to rest for a specific amount of time prior to entering the roadways again. Unfortunately, however, many truck drivers choose to ignore these rules to meet industry pressures. A Winston-Salem truck accident lawyer is prepared to take on your case today if you have been injured by a fatigued driver.
A Winston-Salem Truck Accident Lawyer is Here for You
Truck drivers often show signs of fatigue while traveling the roads and highways of North Carolina. While tired eyes, yawning, and drowsiness typically indicate a fatigued driver, many truckers ignore these feelings and continue on their path. When this causes a collision, the truck driver is at-fault. Lewis & Keller believes that these people must be held accountable for the damages that they cause others.
Our offices in Winston-Salem and Greensboro allow us to service the entire state of North Carolina. We take pride in the role that we play in the community. To speak with a Winston-Salem truck accident lawyer today, please complete a Free Case Evaluation on this page.