Statistics show us that truck accidents can cause serious injury and, sadly, death. In 2010 in Nevada alone, approximately 71 out of 235 fatal car crashes involved trucks.
The risk of severe injury is higher in such collisions, because of the massive size and weight of a truck. Driver issues such as distracted driving, negligence, driver fatigue and inexperience, have been identified as common causes of truck accidents. As a result, federal rules regulating truck drivers have been tightened in order to reduce the numbers of accidents, and save lives.
Driver fatigue and truck accidents
Working long hours for continuous periods of time is linked to chronic fatigue, other chronic and serious health conditions, as well as the increased risk of truck accidents.
The latest guidelines set a limit to the number of hours that a driver is made to work, and is intended to ensure drivers obtain adequate sleep and rest throughout, and/or between, journeys. On a local level, this is expected to save more lives and reduce the number of truck crashes and injuries in Nevada.
Features of the “hours of service” rule:
- The maximum work week of a truck driver is 70 hours, also known as ‘one duty cycle’ where a truck driver can drive for a maximum of 70 hours in the last 7 or 8 days.
- To restart a new work or duty cycle, the driver must have at least two nights of rest between the hours of 1 to 5 a.m. The extended period of night rest is expected to give a truck driver more sleep recuperation time.
- Drivers must take a 30-minute break during the first 8 hours of a shift.
- Prohibitive fines will be imposed on trucking companies and passenger carriers who fail to provide the mandatory rest period between work cycles. The driver may also suffer penalties for failing to observe the required rest period and maximum work week.
- The latest federal regulations took effect on July 1, 2013.
Motorists and passengers of motor vehicles such as cars and motorcycles, along with bicyclists and pedestrians, often suffer more serious injuries when involved in a truck accident. If this happens to you, or someone you know, then hiring a Nevada personal injury attorney can help you to recover the full and fair value of your injuries and property damage.
In the metropolitan Henderson area, the law firm of David Boehrer has years of experience in representing victims of truck crashes and obtaining full compensation from the negligent party.