The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) compiled statistics on the incidence of different types of truck accidents in the United States.
- 13 percent of the 15.5 million trucks on the roads are semi and heavy trucks.
- 98 percent of all semi accidents result in at least one fatality (3,887 people were killed in 2012.)
- There are 2.3 deaths and 60.5 injuries for every 100 million miles driven by big rigs on U.S. road ways.
According to The Wall Street Journal (July 3, 2013), although the USDOT does not have precise statistics on fatigue-related crashes, one study shows that roughly 13% of large-truck crashes involve a sleep-deprived driver. Sleep-deprived drivers are severely distracted drivers.
A battle between truck drivers and federal regulators regarding work limits for truck drivers has been waging for some time. Now change has come. Starting July 1, the rules which govern truck-driver' hours have been restricted to a maximum of 70 hours per week. Prior to the change truck-driver' hours were capped at a maximum of 82 hours a week. These rules were announced in December 2011 and transportation companies and individuals have had 18 months to adopt the new hours-of-service rules.
In a USDOT press release, Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood said, "These rules make common sense, data-driven changes to reduce truck driver fatigue and improve safety for every traveler on our highways and roads."
The rules will be enforced by USDOT by routinely checking driver work logs which they are required to complete. Fines of up to $11,000 for companies and $2,750 for individuals will be imposed for each offense.
When a distracted and/or sleepy truck driver is behind the wheel of a fully-loaded tractor trailer, the consequences can be catastrophic.
"Whether it was fatigue or distraction, or both, a deadly accident killing two people occurred June 27, 2013 on I-75 in Naples. A tanker truck hit the rear of a minivan parked on the side of I-75 with blinking lights at 3:00 a.m. as reported by the Naples Daily News. The change in 'sleep rules' for truckers should make the roads safer for all of us," says Naples Truck Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.
Southwest Florida Truck Accident Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by less than 2 percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 1,600 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239. 337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.