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Driver fatigue and truck accidents

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Different factors contribute to truck accidents. One of them is driver fatigue. Any driver can experience fatigue, for example, people going through changes in their life, including having a new baby or suffering from a sleep disorder. However, this issue significantly affects truck drivers, especially new ones.

According to a study conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in 2006, 13% of Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers were considered to have been fatigued at the time of a serious crash. The department has done its best over the years, including revising the hours of service to reduce fatigue-related truck accidents.

So, why are truck accidents caused by driver fatigue still reported?

Compensation systems

Truck drivers are paid using different systems, with the most common one being pay per mile, with which a truck driver is paid for the distance they complete – usually, specified cents per mile, for example, 0.28 per mile. 

While this compensation system allows drivers to make as much as they want, it can encourage them to ignore breaks to drive longer and, in turn, make more money. 

Paying truck drivers per hour can promote safe behaviors on the road, as drivers may not feel forced to keep driving when tired – they know they can still make enough money regardless of the miles they complete.

Poor hiring practices

Trucking companies should test drivers for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can prevent restful, healthy sleep, which a truck driver needs to drive safely. A driver with this condition requires treatment. 

A trucking company that doesn’t test employees during the hiring stage or act accordingly when a driver needs a sleep apnea test can endanger other road users.

If you are involved in a truck accident caused by driver fatigue, consider seeking legal guidance to determine your next steps.