There are more large trucks than ever on the road, and for Mississippi drivers, this can be a serious safety concern. When a large truck is involved in a collision, the consequences can be severe for the other pedestrians or vehicles involved, especially given the mass and weight of semi-trucks and 18-wheelers. The risk of an accident is significantly increased when a truck driver takes the road outside of their mandated hours of service, because drivers who have been on the road for too long can become fatigued.
When it comes to driving, truck driver fatigue is not just a bit of extra sleepiness; it can have effects akin to those of drunk or otherwise intoxicated driving. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration classifies crashes caused by fatigue in the same category as those caused by drivers operating their vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs. All of these crashes are considered to be caused by impaired driving. Of the 157 fatal truck accidents involving impaired driving in 2016, 70 – nearly half – involved fatigued truck drivers.
Federal law currently limits truck drivers to 14 consecutive hours of service. However, hours of service violations are some of the more common serious citations that truck drivers receive. When a truck driver is found to violate the hours of service rules, they can be ticketed and fined. In addition, they will be ordered to pull off the road for their mandatory rest. Federal rules also require the use of electronic devices that monitor the amount of time a truck spends in motion.
People who have been involved in a truck accident may experience life-changing injuries as well as time away from work and costly medical bills. A personal injury attorney might be able to help people injured in a crash caused by another’s negligent, distracted or fatigued driving to seek compensation for their damages.