Most people recognize that driving while tired isn't the safest decision. However, many people find themselves in situations where it seems like they don't have another option. Commercial truck drivers all too often fall into this category.
Between their long work hours and demanding schedules, it can be difficult for commercial drivers to work adequate rest into their daily schedule. Some drive for more than half of the day. Unfortunately, all of that driving while drowsy greatly increases the risk that commercial trucks pose to other people on the road.
Exhaustion impacts the ability to control a vehicle
Even for those people who are driving smaller passenger vehicles, fatigue can have a negative impact on driving ability. When drivers feel tired, they may have a harder time focusing on the task at hand. They may also struggle to keep awake and alert.
Distraction may be more tempting, and it may also take longer for them to respond to changes in traffic. The more tired someone is, the more pronounced those symptoms may become.
Federal law restricts how long truckers can drive
There are currently rules at the federal level that restrict how long commercial truckers can drive. They are limited to no more than 11 hours of active driving time per shift, which may not extend beyond 14 hours total. There are also rules that limit how long they can drive over a number of days. Truckers cannot drive more than 60 hours in seven days or 70 hours in eight days.
Individuals who suffer injuries in accidents with truck drivers who are fatigued or drowsy should explore their options for bringing civil claims against the driver and/or their employer.