There are thousands of truck accidents on American highways every year. A large percentage of all of those truck crashes are known to or believed to be caused by truck driver exhaustion. If the average truck accident can cause catastrophic injuries, then why are so many truckers permitted to be on the road when fatigued? The answer lies within federal trucking regulations and loopholes.
Truckers Are Scheduled Extremely Long Hours
If you were to ask a truck driver if they like driving while tired, you can assume every single answer would be a resounding no. The reason they drive while exhausted is not a decision that is really on their shoulders, though. Instead, it boils down to the schedules trucking companies hand them.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the trucking industry to improve safety on the roads. Yet the rules about trucker schedules is questionable. For the most part, trucking companies can schedule a truck driver for 14-hour days, as long as they do not spend more than 11 hours behind the wheel. Trying to safely operate even a small sedan is a challenge after a few hours. It is almost impossible to imagine how difficult it must be to control a giant semi-truck without incident after 10 hours on the road.
There are even loopholes in the regulations that may allow some truckers to be scheduled even longer than 14 hours. For example, some drivers are permitted to continue accepting routes indefinitely as long as they do not travel too far in air miles. They might be tempted to try to work 15, 18, and 20 hours or more to increase their paycheck at the expense of everyone else on the road.
Call Our San Jose Truck Accident Attorneys
Did you or a loved one get hit by an exhausted truck driver in San Jose or the surrounding region? Habbas & Associates wants to know about it. We are a dedicated team of personal injury attorneys in the Bay Area who have secured millions of dollars for our clients through verdicts and settlements.
Find out more about our services by contacting us for a free consultation.