One of the major causes of trucking accidents in Seattle continues to be truck driver fatigue. A 2005 study published by the FMCSA found that 3 out of 4 truck drivers reported experiencing at least one type of driving error due to fatigue. 41% of truck drivers who were involved in a crash, cited fatigue or distractedness as the reason for their crash—7% actually fell asleep at the wheel.
Fatigue impairs a driver’s ability to react appropriately in an emergency. They may oversteer, fail to apply the brakes quickly, or misjudge distance between vehicles. Safety studies have proven that driving fatigued impairs driving performance similar to alcohol. Being awake for 18 hours is similar to driving a large commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit.
In order to combat truck driver fatigue and improve the safety of America’s roads, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has imposed specific rules and regulations regarding how many breaks and rests truck drivers are required to take. These regulations are also known as the FMCSA’s Hours-of-Service (HOS).
Common HOS Requirements:
- Truck drivers must take a 30 minutes break during the first 8 hours of driving
- Property carrying drivers are only allowed to work a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty
- Truck drivers may not driver after 60/70 hours on duty in 7/8 days
- A 34-hour off-duty period is required to restart the workweek
- Drivers who driver less than 100 miles can skip the 30 minute rest breaks
Unfortunately, many truck drivers and trucking companies find ways around the HOA requirements. They may falsify driving logs, encourage truck drivers to drive longer periods, or truckers may fail to sleep during designated rest periods. When this occurs, deadly trucking accidents can occur, causing harm to you or someone you love.
Contact Seattle Truck Accident Attorneys
If a negligent truck driver injures you or someone you love, an experienced Seattle trucking accident attorney at Phillips Law Firm can help. If you are interested in learning more about your legal options, call us at 1-800-708-6000. Our personal injury attorneys are waiting to assist you 24/7, offering a free case evaluation. Remember our no fee promise. If we do not recover anything for you, you do not owe us an attorney fee.
The personal injury lawyers at Phillips Law Firm have successfully represented injured individuals and their families in Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, Bellevue, Everett, Kent, Auburn, Renton, Federal Way, Bellingham, Marysville, Lakewood, Redmond, Shoreline, and throughout the State of Washington.