Understanding how Truck Driving Tired Can be Dangerous or Deadly
Truckers were recently given the green light to drive more than 11-hours straight, as set forth by the United States Department’s (“DOT”) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (“FMCSA”). Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002 under 49 CFR § 390.25 was initially passed in April and has been extended and modified several times, as recently as September 11th. Usually truck drivers cannot drive for more than 11 straight hours within a 14-hour workday—this regulation eliminates that. Contact our Oregon trucking accident lawyers to discuss these constantly evolving laws and how they impact you. Because even though the regulations changed to accommodate the ongoing pandemic, that does not mean it is safer for the rest of us. Truck driving tired can kill, and it is a dangerous type of driving.
Approximately 25 percent of truck drivers have admitted to falling asleep at the wheel. On top of needing finer attention to detail and focus, and a set of skills regular drivers do not need, truck drivers have a large load on their plates. What is more is that trucks are often on highways and other fast-speed roads, which makes driving trucks even more prone to risks. Truckers need to have accurate reaction times to other drivers’ actions, and fast. It is more difficult to pump brakes in big rigs, logging trucks, delivery vans, semi-tractor trailers, tandem trailer, and other box trucks. Truck drivers physically exert more energy in turning a truck as well. Overall, response times, decision making, and attention needs to be sharp.
Also noted is that the trucking world does not sleep—it operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Truck drivers are working an upwards of 70 hours a week sometimes, with inconsistent shifts, and under highly stressful physical and mental constraints.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations Prohibiting Truck Driving Tired
The FMCSA, the body of government governing the trucking industry, puts regulations in place, introduces new regulations, and modifies others, on a regular basis. All truck drivers and trucking companies are bound to the rules of FMCSA, which is overseen by the DOT. The states can make these regulations stricter, but they cannot lessen them. More specifically, the Hours of Service (“HOS”) Regulations determine how and when the drivers can work. Some of the Regulations that impact truck drivers’ sleep that existed before the September 11, 2020 reform include:
- Truck drivers can only drive 8 hours in a row before they must take a 30-minute break
- Truck drivers are subject to a 24-hour shift clock
- Trucking companies must keep track of its drivers’ clocked hours and log book
- Trucking companies cannot suggest or require drivers to violate any of these regulations
- Truck drivers cannot drive for more than 60 hours in a 7-day period
- Truck drivers cannot drive for more than 70 hours in an 8-day period
Under the new FMCSA Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002, it is reiterated that any driver who complains of drowsiness, fatigue, impaired, or have another illness, must be given a break of at least 10 hours. Our Oregon trucking accident lawyers can help you with these issues today.
The Dire Consequences of Truck Driving Tired
If a truck driver is not fit to drive, due to tiredness, fatigue, or the like, he or she is violating Federal regulations and while driving in our state they are violating Oregon law. This can lead to severe accidents, such as rear ends, roll over crashes, hit and runs, and even, fatal crashes because truck driving tried can be deadly.
Ask our Oregon Trucking Accident Lawyers for Help When Truck Driving Tired Caused Injuries to You and Your Family
If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of a trucking accident or collision contact the Oregon Truck Accident Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form. We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.
Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton, Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles, St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.
We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Trucking accident cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.
Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law.