Are Trucking Regulations Encouraging Drowsy Driving?
Drowsy driving is on the rise. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, fatigued driving contributed to almost 11% of serious crashes in 2017. In Texas, drowsy driving isn’t the only statistic that’s gone up in recent years. In 2017, truck crashes claimed the lives of 649 people in Texas alone, a 14% increase in truck wreck fatalities from 2016.
RELATED CLIENT STORY: Woman Working in Her Front Yard is Run Over by Careless Motorist
Unfortunately, at least 13% of truck wrecks involve driver fatigue, although experts believe that this metric is significantly underreported. With drowsy driving and truck fatalities both being serious concerns, lawmakers should be increasing regulations on truck drivers in order to create safer driving conditions.
However, the current administration and some lawmakers are more concerned with reducing regulation than with trucking safety. There is considerable money to be made by relaxing restrictions on the trucking industry, and several regulations have been withdrawn and repealed at the expense of driver safety.
RELATED EBOOK: 5 Mistakes to Avoid After a Truck Wreck
Relaxed Trucking Regulations Contribute to Drowsy Driving
In recent years, regulators at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) have relaxed restrictions on the hours truck drivers are required to sleep each night. Previously, DOT regulations stated that truck drivers needed to get at least two consecutive nights’ worth of sleep between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. before starting a new work week.
The trucking lobby successfully argued that forcing truck drivers to work certain hours creates unnecessary congestion on the roads at those times. However, by allowing truck drivers to bypass a necessary sleep period, we deprive them of the rest they need to travel our roadways safely, placing other drivers at risk.
“With drowsy driving and truck fatalities both being serious concerns, lawmakers should be increasing regulations on truck drivers in order to create safer driving conditions.”
This is not the only safety law that has been withdrawn or repealed recently. The DOT is no longer considering regulations that mandate screening for sleep apnea disorders in truck drivers, electronic speed-limiting devices for trucks, and guard rails that would keep cars from becoming wedged under a truck trailer during a collision.
RELATED ARTICLE: Drowsy Driving Accidents Are On The Rise
How Does Fatigue Affect Driving Abilities?
Reducing trucking regulations might have positive benefits on truck driver productivity and companies’ bottom lines. However, it increases truck safety concerns. Regulations that encourage drowsy driving are especially dangerous since fatigue has serious negative effects on drivers, including:
- Slower reaction time
- Poor decision making
- Decreased coordination
- Inefficient information processing
- Increased irritation
- Higher levels of aggression
In fact, someone who is driving on four to five hours of sleep is just as likely to crash as a drunk driver with a 0.08 blood-alcohol content (BAC).
Trucking Boom and Driver Shortages Lead to Increased Cases of Drowsy Driving
Generating over 700 billion dollars in revenue and employing 7.7 billion people in 2017, there is no doubt that the trucking industry is a crucial part of our country’s economy. And it will continue to grow as more and more trucks hit the road to keep up with increasing consumer demand. But the industry is facing a huge shortage of truck drivers, placing additional pressure on drivers to cover more ground by sleeping the minimal amount and even falsifying records that state what hours they worked.
As the industry continues to grow and face a personnel shortage, it is more important than ever to properly regulate drivers to ensure their health, and the safety of other drivers on the roads.
Crosley Law Fights for Texas Truck Accident Victims
With drowsy driving cases on the rise, it’s important to know your rights and options if you have suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one in a truck crash. You’ll also need to act quickly to preserve important driving logs and truck data that might support your injury claim.
At Crosley Law, we’re here to help. Our personal injury attorneys will listen to your story and provide honest advice about how best to proceed. Get your free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer now by calling 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 or filling out our online contact form.
Drowsy driving is impaired driving (2017). National Safety Council. Retrieved from https://www.nsc.org/Portals/0/Documents/Fatigue%20Documents/Fact-Sheets/Drowsy-Driving-Problem-and-Statistics.pdf
Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2017 (2019, March). Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Analysis Division. Retrieved from
New Report Finds Trucking Industry Revenues Topped $700 Billion (2018, August). American Trucking Associations. Retrieved from https://www.trucking.org/article/New-Report-Finds-Trucking-Industry-Revenues-Topped-$700-Billion
Owens, J.M., Dingus, T.A., Guo, F., Fang, Y., Perez, M., McCafferty, J., & Taft, B.C. (2018, February). Prevalence of drowsy driving crashes: Estimates from a large-scale naturalistic driving study. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Retrieved from http://aaafoundation.org/prevalence-drowsy-driving-crashes-estimates-large-scale-naturalistic-driving-study/
The large truck crash causation study- Analysis brief (2007, July). Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Retrieved from https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/research-and-analysis/large-truck-crash-causation-study-analysis-brief
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.
Related ArticlesView All Blog Articles
Fatigue-Related Accidents: How Truck Driver Fatigue Causes WrecksSep 22, 2021
When the topic of impaired driving is discussed, most people think of drunk driving. But the truth is, truck driver fatigue (which can become even more dangerous if it leads to sleeping at the wheel) is one of the most common forms of driver impairment. In fact, it’s comparable to drunk driving. While anyone can […]
I Was Injured by a UPS Driver. What Can I Expect?Aug 02, 2021
You see delivery drivers all over, running from one destination to the next. But when the UPS truck crashes into you, they could make the road to your settlement a lot more complicated. There were 2,759 crashes involving UPS drivers over the last two years. Over 980 of those involved an injury, which adds up […]
How to Get a Fair Settlement in Your Truck Accident ClaimJul 22, 2021
In 2020, there were 32,562 crashes involving commercial vehicles in Texas. They resulted in almost 600 fatalities and thousands of serious injuries. Truck crashes can cause devastating injuries — leaving victims struggling to move on. At Crosley Law, we help crash victims get the answers and accountability they deserve. Our truck accident lawyers have earned […]
Find the Best Truck Accident Attorney in San Antonio, TexasMay 17, 2021
The aftermath of any traffic accident is stressful, and trucking accidents tend to be more traumatic than typical car crashes. From medical bills for serious injuries to the damage passenger vehicles often endure, victims face many obstacles to complete healing. Working with the right attorney can make all the difference to the process and outcome of your case by alleviating stress, supporting healing, and increasing your […]
How to Sue a Trucking Company in Texas: Your Practical GuideMar 16, 2021
There were more than 39,000 commercial vehicle crashes in Texas in 2019. More than 15,000 people suffered injuries and at least 613 of them lost their lives. However, we know that truck wrecks aren’t about statistics—each of those numbers represents a story, a struggle, and a loss. That’s why Crosley Law’s personal injury lawyers focus […]
Your Guide To Texas Rollover Crash ClaimsFeb 15, 2021
The aftereffects from a large truck rollover accident can be extensive and potentially devastating. When a large truck like a semi or delivery van is involved in a crash, the damage can extend beyond just the commercial driver and their vehicle – and the results may be severe. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 71% of people killed in large truck crashes in 2018 were the occupants of other vehicles. Or take it from the Insurance […]
Top 6 Causes Of Truck Accidents – Quick GuideNov 19, 2020
After a serious truck accident, your friends and family will probably ask you, “what happened?” Many times, there’s no clear answer. Sure, the truck veered into your lane or jack-knifed, but what happened in the moments before the wreck? Could it have been avoided? What should you do next? At Crosley Law, we help answer […]
What’s Negligent Hiring and Will It Affect My Truck Wreck Case?Jun 16, 2020
After a catastrophic truck wreck, most people focus their attention on the driver who caused the crash. However, there’s usually a lot more to the story. When trucking companies value profits over safety and people, they make irresponsible hiring decisions that contribute to wrecks. Truck injury lawyers refer to these claims as negligent hiring cases. […]
How Does Insurance Work in a Commercial Truck Accident?Apr 21, 2020
Many truck wreck victims have never been in a collision before and aren’t sure where to start. At Crosley Law, we know how overwhelming the aftermath of a truck crash can feel, especially if you or someone you loved suffered serious injuries. Before you contact the insurance company or accept a quick settlement, you need […]
What Causes Truck Tire Blowouts?Feb 25, 2020
An average of 8,000 truck crashes involve tire failures each year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Large Truck Crash Causation Study. However, the cause of these tire failures is not always clear. While speed and tire maintenance may play a significant role, other factors can contribute to a failure. If you’ve been […]
Do you or a family member
need legal advice?
Crosley Law Firm, PC is a professional corporation of trial lawyers focused on representing individuals and families who have suffered serious personal injuries or wrongful death. If you’ve been injured, fill out the form for a free consultation, or call 210-LAW-3000.