Thursday, November 29, 2007

“What Really Causes Fatigue-Related Truck Accidents”

I just come across an article, “What Truck Accident Lawyers Should Know about the Trucking Industry” posted December last year, which discusses the reasons behind most truck accidents. In the light of the increasing incidents involving trucks in major highways, this article is worth reading.
According to the article, the main reason why truck accidents happen is due to overworked and fatigued drivers. Drivers who have worked on extended hours - which is often more than the allowed work time - are prone to commit mistakes on the road and thus, vulnerable to accidents. The factors that predict a fatigued-related truck accident are:
  • The duration of the last sleep period
  • The total hours of sleep obtained a day prior to the accident
  • Split sleep patterns or the breaking of sleep into small blocks of time
While the article mentioned the reasons behind fatigue-related truck accidents, it is interesting to know that some truck drivers cheat on their log books and continue to work beyond the allowed time. Consequently, they fail to rest properly which often lead to accidents.
The article pointed out the despite federal regulations that require drivers to have at least eight continuous hours of rest and sleep after 10 to 15 hours of duty, truck drivers continue to violate rules, cheat the entries on their log books and drive without regard of their conditions.
Most truck drivers are paid on a “per mile” basis. This explains why some of them who want to earn more by driving beyond permitted hours. If this practice continues, what safety guarantee can one get on the road? Isn’t it time to have truck drivers paid on a fixed salary or hourly basis?