Driving tired can be more fatal than driving drunk. This is particularly true for truck drivers. 28 percent of truck drivers admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel. Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety reported that in 2012 accidents involving large trucks killed 3,921 people and injured another 104,000.
All truck drivers have heard the phrase “Turning wheels are earning wheels,” which refers to a truck driver’s pay being based on the miles they drive. This industry practice incentivizes sleepless nights driving tired on the road.
Additionally, some trucking companies place deadlines on their drivers which force drivers to continue going past the point of tired in order to arrive to their destinations on time.
Semi-trucks weigh around 80,000 pounds. When a truck driver falls asleep at the wheel the effects can be devastating and truck accidents often end in fatalities. For this reason there is a push for more laws regulating the truck drivers’ hours on the road and mitigating the money-making mentality which encourages unsafe driving practices.
The government has already limited a truck driver’s daily driving hours. But most trucking companies implement a paper log practice for tracking drive time. The paper log can easily be fudged and does a poor job of holding drivers accountable for driving excessive lengths of time. One solution? Electronic logging devices.
In March 2014 a rule was proposed to require truck and bus companies to use these electronic logging devices in their vehicles. The increased accountability would prevent an estimated 20 fatalities and 434 injuries from truck accidents each year. This translates to a $394.8 million safety savings.
There are numerous advocacy efforts out there to change industry standards and prevent fatigued truck driving. There is even a Facebook page for Tired Drivers Against Tired Driving TDADT. But despite advocacy, lawmaking, and rulemaking catastrophic truck accidents still occur. If you or someone you know was injured by a semi-truck, contact a truck accident attorney today. At The The Hornbuckle Firm we fight passionately and smartly to hold truck drivers and their companies liable for breaching their duty of care and causing accident. We represent injured victims in Seattle and throughout Washington State.
Bellevue, Washington 98007
Phone: (425) 679-0742