Why a Tired Trucker Should Never Get Behind the Wheel of an 18-Wheeler

When it comes to truck accidents, one thing is for certain – tired truckers and large trucks don’t mix.  Truckers are often under pressure to deliver their loads in a timely manner.  Factors such as traffic, road closures and weather conditions can put them behind schedule.  In an effort to catch up, these truckers drive for hours on end.

There is a federal guideline, known as hours-of-service, that establishes how long a trucker should drive before taking a break.  The rule is meant to keep truckers from getting too fatigued when driving, but many truckers choose not to follow it.  According to the National Transportation Safety Board, as many as 30 to 40 percent of truck accidents are caused by tired truckers. 

One career trucker described driver fatigue as one of the biggest problems that truckers face.  He said that the shippers put pressure on drivers to get their deliveries there on time, even if there is an unforeseen delay.  This pressure causes many truckers to make the fatal mistake of driving without resting.

The federal hours-of-service regulation states that truckers “may drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty.”  They are also allowed to drive up to 60 hours in a seven-day period.  California does have some exceptions to the federal hours-of-service rule.  For example, if a truck is carrying non-hazardous materials, the driver can travel a maximum of 12 hours during a work period.

Lack of sleep can significantly increase the risk of a California truck accident.  A tired trucker is not able to fully focus on the task of driving and loses his or her ability to react to a hazard on the road.  These drowsy truckers may not be able to take action in time to avoid a deadly collision.

Truck accidents typically result in catastrophic injuries.  If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident in Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Riverside County, Ventura County, San Bernardino County or other area in California, you should contact a truck accident attorney at Steinberg at 1-800-350-8888 for a free case evaluation.  You may be able to hold the driver and trucking company accountable for your injuries.

Peter Steinberg, Esq.
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982