The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that one in three American workers usually get less than six hours of sleep per night. Truck drivers are among the most at risk for serious on-the-job accidents due to sleep deprivation. Twenty percent of vehicle accidents in the United States are caused by drowsy driving each year. Over forty-four percent of truck drivers surveyed admitted that they are either drowsy or tired on the road. Considering the size of truck drivers’ vehicles and weight of the load that many truck operators deal with, such numbers should be frightening to the ordinary, standard size vehicle driver.
To help combat such concerns, federal officials have instituted new rules for truck drivers in an attempt to lighten their workloads. The “hours of service” rules decreased the maximum work week from 82 hours to 70 hours, and mandated a 34-hour “restart period,” attempting to ensure that drivers get two days off for every five days behind the wheel. The American Trucking Association has opposed these new rules, prohibit drivers from getting back on the road before 5 a.m., because of fear more accidents will occur when drivers have to fight their way through rush-hour traffic each morning.
Money, of course, plays a role. Truck drivers are often paid by the mile rather than the hour. Thus, for some drivers, the less they sleep the more money they earn. However, nearly 5,000 people a year lose their lives as a result of truck driving accidents in the United States. Reasonable regulation remains important to protect the safety of the public.
Miller Weber Kory handles many trucking accidents for injured parties and the survivors of persons killed in such accidents. Partner Jeff Miller teaches trucking regulations and liability at annual seminars. If you need assistance with a trucking accident, please give us a call.
For more information on this topic, visit: https://slatest.slate.com/posts/2012/04/27/cdc_study_30_percent_of_american_workforce_doesn_t_sleep_enough.html and/or>