In early June, California law enforcement officers took part in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual International Roadcheck, which promotes road safety across North America. This year, the program took aim at truck driver fatigue.
Hours-of-service violations are a growing problem for U.S. truck drivers. In 2016, there were 70 fatal large truck crashes attributed to either fatigued driving or the driver falling asleep according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. In 2017, there were 33,000 citations issued to truck drivers who exceeded their maximum daily driving limit of 14 hours. Hours-of-service violations were also the top reason truck drivers were pulled off the road during the 2017 International Roadcheck.
During the Roadcheck, passenger and commercial drivers are subjected to surprise vehicle inspections. If checking a truck driver’s hours-of-service log reveals that he or she has driven more than 14 hours that day, the vehicle is pulled out of service and the driver is required to rest. In some cases, fines may also be assessed. In 2017, a new rule went into effect that requires drivers to use electronic devices to log their driving hours. This is supposed to help reduce hours-of-service violations.
Truck accidents are frequently caused by dangerous driving behaviors, including drowsy driving, distracted driving and drunk driving. If someone is injured in a truck crash caused by a negligent truck driver, he or she has the right to pursue compensation for damages. An attorney might use accident reconstruction results, toxicology reports, hours-of-service logs and other evidence in an effort to prove that a truck driver was responsible for an accident. This might lead to a settlement that covers medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and more.
Source: Transport Topics News, “Roadcheck Focuses on Fatigued Truck Drivers,” Mitchell Schmidt, June 7, 2018