The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released their list of the top ten most desired highway safety improvement goals for 2016. The agency considers the list a guideline for improving highway safety. Notably, many of the desired safety improvements involve commercial trucks. This is not particularly surprising since large trucks are responsible for far more than their fair share of highway accidents and serious accident injuries. If you, or a family member, were injured in an eighteen wheeler accident, you should contact an experienced San Antonio attorney today.
Top Priority: Reduce Fatigued Truck Drivers
At the top of the safety improvements most wanted list is the NTSB’s goal of reducing truck driver fatigue. Truck driver fatigue is a factor in a significant percentage of negligent eighteen wheeler accidents. The Federal Government released a comprehensive report on large truck crash causation. In that study the agency determined that truck driver fatigue is the single most frequent cause of commercial truck accidents. Large trucking operations have a legal obligation to ensure that their drivers are not too tired to operate trucks safely. If you have been injured in an accident with a fatigued truck driver, you need to speak to a truck accident attorney. You are entitled to compensation for your damages.
Fatigued Driver Regulations
It is clear that overly fatigued truck drivers continue to present a major safety risk on our highways. This is the second consecutive year that driver fatigue has been at the top of the NTSB’s highway safety wishlist. There is good reason for that too, as study after study conclude that fatigue dramatically reduces a truck driver’s reaction time. Exhausted truck drivers are too risky for our roads. Federal regulators began trying to tackle the issue of truck driver fatigue back in 2011. Regulators issued new three rules for truckers:
- Drivers must take a 30 minute break every 8 hours;
- Drivers are limited to 70 hours behind the wheel per week; and
- Once a week a truck driver must have at least 34 straight hours off the job, to rest up.
All trucking companies must follow these strict driver regulations. The failure to do so is negligence on behalf of the company. Further, under federal trucking law, truck drivers may not be behind the wheel at all if they are fatigued to the point of impairment. Period. It does not matter if the driver has not broken any specific time limit regulations. A driver impaired by fatigue is dangerous and that driver is not allowed to be on the road. If you have been hurt in a truck accident, driver fatigue may have played a role in your case.
Contact An Experienced Texas Truck Accident Attorney
It is good news that the government continues to recognize the role of driver fatigue in truck accidents. But, more work must be done. If you have been in an accident with a commercial truck, an experienced attorney can help. At the Law Offices of Ronald A. Ramos, our legal team fights hard for the rights of injured truck accident victims. Truck insurance companies are well staffed and aggressive. We will not let them deny you your right to full and fair compensation. Please do not hesitate to contact our office today to schedule a free legal consultation.