DOT Address Truck Driver Fatigue to Ensure Trucking Safety | KNR
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Written by
KNR Legal
Date posted
February 20, 2015

A truck accident in Ohio or anywhere in the U.S. could occur from any number of factors ranging from inadequate driver training, to the over-scheduling of routes, to truck driver fatigue. Of these, truck driver fatigue is one problem many officials are regulating in an effort to increase safety on the road.

Truck driver fatigue is a growing concern among the United States Department of Transportation and its agencies across the states. More than 30,000 people die in motor-vehicle crash every year, and driver fatigue is one road hazard that increases the risk of truck accidents. In order to improve and maintain highway safety, the DOT specifically addresses fatigue among commercial vehicle drivers through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The FMCSA implements rules on how long truck drivers should operate a commercial vehicle without getting fatigue. The agency utilized several studies available to create the “Hours of Service” rule.

The agency is now paying more attention to truck driver fatigue after a study revealed that almost 4,000 people die in crashes involving large trucks every year with truck driver fatigue listed as a primary factor. While many truckers comply with the hours of service rules, there are still drivers and trucking companies who push the limits, endangering the lives of travelers. As a result, the FMCSA created a rule regarding truck drivers’ hours of service. The amendments require that drivers take a 30-minute break after driving eight hours and a 34-hour rest period for drivers before they begin another long trip.

Lack of proper rest is not only unhealthy to the body but also the mind. For a truck driver, and other motorists, lack of sleep and rest can affect judgments and concentration on the road while driving.