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Statistics show risk of crashes from truck driver exhaustion

People who drive on highways in Arkansas and around the country could be interested in some statistics regarding truck driver fatigue. Truck drivers who have been driving for too many hours, resulting in excessive tiredness, could be responsible for increased crash risks. Many of those accidents result in serous injuries or death, according to statistics compiled by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Overall, statistics show that more than 5,000 people die in truck crashes and almost 150,000 are injured on U.S. highways every year. In addition, big rig involvement in crashes involving two vehicles equals twice that of passenger vehicles. Over the past few years, close to one in four fatalities that took the lives of occupants of passenger cars involved large trucks.

Further statistics show that 20,000 individuals suffer injuries and another 750 plus lose their lives annually as a direct result of driver fatigue among commercial truck drivers. Because of these figures, the FMCSA is proposing a change to rules that govern hours of service and commercial truck drivers. They are proposing that the current rule that says that a commercial driver cannot work more than 10 hours consecutively before taking a rest break of no less than eight hours be changed. The proposed change would involve a rotating schedule and longer rest breaks. Studies have found that crash risks double between the eighth and tenth driving hours, doubling again between the tenth and eleventh hours.

People who are injured or lost loved ones in truck accidents could file a personal injury claim for compensation to help with medical bills, loss of income, or final expenses. A personal injury attorney could help by gathering witness accounts and police reports to prove negligence on the part of a truck driver and the trucking company.

Source: Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, "Truck Driver Fatigue", December 08, 2014

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