Trucking accidents claim 5,000 lives every year on US highways. Driver fatigue may well be the most crucial contributing factor in these preventable deaths. Most truckers get less than five hours of sleep at a time on the average according to statistics from the Driver Fatigue and Alertness Study conducted by the US Department of Transportation. Most medical professionals recommend no less than seven and a half hours of sleep or the average person. Motorists in Kansas City have reason to worry the hours of service truck drivers are allowed before mandatory time off for rest.
Recent changes in the hours of service laws have improved working conditions for truck drivers, but still allow for up to 14 hours of consecutive drive time within the law. Truck drivers are normally paid by the mile and not the hour, making it crucial to their bottom line to cover as much roadway as they can. Often the pressure to make enough money to pay the bills can motivate truckers to go as far as the law allows.
The hard part of this equation stems from the fact that the longer truckers are on the road without rest, the more likely they are to become too fatigued and road weary to be safe. Big tractor-trailer trucks carry tens of thousands of pounds behind them. Getting into an accident with a big rig is not likely to end well.
Here is another hard truth. The longer truck drivers spend consecutively behind the wheel of a truck, the more money large trucking companies stand to make. Laws that work to protect the rights or truckers and the safety of motorists in general may not make the truck company looking to maximize profitability very happy. However, enabling a truck driver to survive on the amount of money he or she can make while driving as safely as possible makes the most sense in the long run. Tired truck drivers cause accidents.
Have you been injured in a truck accident? If so you should speak with an experienced truck accident attorney as soon as possible. Contact us online or call us directly at 816.471.5111 for your free consultation today.