Large commercial trucks require qualified, well-trained drivers to operate them. These massive vehicles, which can weigh up to 80,000, can become quite dangerous if driven by distracted, drowsy or drunk truck drivers.
Large truck accidents killed 4,862 people in 2018 alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It is critical that people are aware of how to spot drowsy drivers in order to minimize their risk of being injured or killed in a catastrophic truck accident.
What causes driver fatigue?
Approximately 13% of truck drivers were drowsy at the time of their accident, according to the Large Truck Crash Causation Study. Truckers spend hours behind the wheel at any given time, and can become fatigued without the right amount of rest and downtime. When truck drivers fall asleep behind the wheel, they run the risk of causing a serious accident.
What are hours of service regulations?
The hours of service regulations were put in place to ensure truckers receive adequate amounts of rest and sleep before hitting the road, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This includes the following:
- Drivers must take a mandatory 30-minute break after driving for 8 consecutive hours
- Drivers cannot drive more than 60 hours in seven consecutive days
- Drivers must take at least 34 hours off after driving a full 60- to 70-hour workweek
- Drivers must take 10 hours off after driving a maximum of 11 hours
All hours are recorded in a logbook that must remain accessible to law enforcement officers, as well as the driving company.