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Truck driver fatigue and hours of service violations

On Behalf of | May 26, 2021 | Automobile Accidents

In California and throughout the nation, the trucking industry is vital when it comes to intrastate and interstate commerce. Individuals and companies realize this, which is why the increasing demand to deliver goods at lightening speed endures. While delivering goods and shipments by truck is an effective way to get items from one destination to the next, the reality is that the roadways are filled with dangers and hazards. This not only creates delays and issues with shipments but causes truck accidents as well.

Truck driver fatigue

For years, truck driver fatigue has been recognized as an issue with regards to trucking accidents; however, the ways in which to resolve the issue have been disputed. For some, they assert that the major culprit is the changes made to the hours-of-service regulations in the past year. This has resulted in drivers working for more than 60 hours a week, oftentimes, more that 14 hours per day.

In contrast, others argue that it isn’t the hours-of-service regulations leading to the problem. They highlighted that there is a driver shortage and asserted that a suspension of the hours-of-service regulation changes would only lead to working the available drivers even harder, which would then exacerbate the problem. They further pointed out that roughly two-thirds of truck accidents are caused by passenger vehicles, meaning that truck drivers themselves are more likely to not be the cause of a truck accident.

Hours of service regulations

While the changes to the hours-of-service regulations were made to address the growing needs and demands of the trucking industry, it is evident that these changes have not only impacted truck driver fatigue but also impact the overall health of truck drivers. Getting restorative rest is necessary, and when a driver is allowed to work too many hours each week, he or she is unable to get this necessary rest. This could ultimately impact health and the ability to operate a truck safely, whether it is due to fatigue or another health issue.

Many factors could play a role in a truck accident; however, the most concerning is hours of service with regards to overworked truck drivers and fatigued driving. Thus, when an individual is injured or a loved one is lost in a truck accident, it is important to consider the cause. By exploring hours of service violations, one could establish liability. Then, with this information, one could file a civil action, such as a personal injury action, to attempt to recover compensation for losses suffered.