Many laws have been passed over the past twenty years to address the issue of fatigue driving and truck accidents. However, what these laws do not address is the fact that truck driving as a job creates some risk factors that contribute to fatigued driving in Homestead and other communities. For example, truck drivers need to contend with:
1) Deadline-focused work. Truck drivers need to deliver their cargo by a specific time, and sometimes deadlines are tight.
In some cases, drivers may have a financial incentive to get to their destination on time or may even be worried about their jobs if they fail to make deadlines (no matter how unreasonable those deadlines are). If truck drivers are keeping an eye on the clock, they may not take the time to rest properly and may push themselves to keep going, even when they are tired.
2) Changing shift work. Some studies have shown that shift work can lead to fatigued driving and car collisions.
Truck drivers may be at risk because they may need to drive at different times of the day, even at night, when roadway crashes are more common. Drivers of bid rigs and tractor trailers may also need to work different shifts throughout the month, which creates an additional risk as drivers get used to a new schedule.
3) Long hours.
New hours of service passed last year place a stricter limit on the number of hours drivers can work per week. While previously truck drivers were able to work up to 80 hours per week, the current 70 hours allowed still far exceed the typical 40 hour work week. The current workweek limits can still mean very long hours that can lead to fatigue.
4) A sedentary life style and road food.
Truck drivers spend a lot of time sitting down during work, and studies have linked sedentary lifestyles with a number of health risks, including obesity, sleep apnea, and other conditions that could potentially affect driving skills. In addition, truck drivers often eat fast food while on the road, which can also contribute to type II diabetes, heart disease, and other health conditions that could contribute to traffic accidents in Homestead and other communities. These conditions can affect activity levels and can leave drivers sleepy, unwell, or even facing medical emergencies while driving.
5) Financial incentives to stay on the road.
Long-haul truck drivers get paid by the mile and by cargo delivered. The longer they drive, the more they get paid, which means that some drivers may push beyond their limits and stay on the road even when they are fatigued in order to earn more. Obviously, this can contribute to fatigued driving and even distracted driving in Homestead and other communities.
Have you been injured because a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel or was so tired that he made preventable mistakes on the road? If so, you may have a personal injury claim against the truck driver, truck carrier, and possibly other liable parties. To find out more, contact Flaxman Law Group for a free, no obligation case review.