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Truckers: Hours Without Sleep

May 1, 2015 Truck Accidents

A very serious and important issue that traffic safety advocates are constantly faced with is the issue of truck driver fatigue. A fact sheet from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety shows that truck crashes lead to more than 5000 fatalities and injure approximately 150,000 people each year. Driver fatigue raises the risks of these kinds of crashes, and groups like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) document the links between overly tired drivers and tragic road accidents.

The FMCSA is calling for a rule change requiring truck or heavy vehicle operators to rest for eight hours after every 10 consecutive hours of driving.

High-profile cases, such as the Tracy Morgan case where the famous comedian was harmed due to a collision with a Wal-Mart truck, illustrates the severity of these kinds of cases.

However, in recent months, federal legislators have appeared to be going backward. In December, a Senate amendment suspended aspects of hours of service rules for truckers.

News from the capital points to a struggle between safety advocates recommending adding rules for truckers and legislators looking at overall government funding, economic activity and other issues. But some of the groups tasked with understanding traffic risks know that cutting corners on safety is not a “win” for anyone.


One improvement in truck safety comes from new digital tools for tracking fleets, reporting work hours and generally keeping tabs on trucking operations. It has now become easier for administrators to mandate and monitor compliance in a distributed trucking operation. Where some operators may have been able to ‘fudge the numbers’ or get away with improper driving schedules, tools like wireless GPS tracking are now making the industry more transparent.

Legal Views

Qualified injury lawyers are familiar with how driver fatigue is viewed in the context of a personal injury case. There are a wealth of statistics and studies showing how driver fatigue often equates to inebriation in terms of driver behavior and response times. Such stats are often used to support a personal injury case if it can be found that the driver in question was not following the “hours of sleep” rules.

New York City Truck Accident Attorneys Can Help You If You’ve Been Hurt

New York residents who have been injured in a truck accident can call the experienced attorneys at Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff. We’ve helped many New York families work through these sorts of cases to understand what’s likely to happen in a courtroom and to fully explore their options for seeking compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering and more.