11 Trucker Fatigue Statistics and Facts That Will Shock You
March 31, 2015
While large trucks comprise about 3 percent of registered vehicles in the U.S., they are involved in about 13 percent of all fatal traffic accounts (according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA). Although a number of different factors can end up causing traffic accidents, often, the negligence of motorists is to blame. When the negligence of commercial motorists – like truckers – is involved, it often comes in the form of trucker fatigue.
In light of our recent blog on the FMCSA’s restart study, we thought it would be a good time to point out some fascinating and potentially shocking trucker fatigue statistics and facts. This info, which includes data from the NHTSA, the FMCSA and various other reliable sources, underscores just how significant of an issue driver fatigue is among commercial motorists like truckers.
If, however, your primary concern right now is financially recovering from a truck accident caused by negligence, you can turn to the trusted Portland truck accident lawyers at the Savage Law Firm for effective help in your pursuit of compensation and justice.
Trucker Fatigue Statistics
- Trucker fatigue contributes to as many as 30 to 40 percent of all heavy truck collisions.
- In truck accidents involving at least one vehicle being run off of the road, trucker fatigue was a contributing factor in about 3 in every 4 of these accidents.
- Working long shifts is among the primary causes of trucker fatigue; this is not only because working long shifts leads to drowsiness but also because long shifts cut in on drivers’ time to get sufficient restorative sleep.
- When truck accidents occur on rural roads, falling asleep at the wheel is a causal factor in about one in every 5 (or 20 percent) of these collisions.
- Between the 8th and 10th hour of driving, the risk of getting into a truck accident doubles.
- Between the 10th and 12th hour of driving, the risk of getting into a truck accident doubles again; in other words, from the 8th to the 12th hour of driving, the risk of getting into collisions quadruples.
- When truckers are asked about how often fatigue impacts them behind the wheel, about 28 percent admit to having fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once in the previous month.
- Trucker fatigue may be a bigger problem than is currently realized – According to a study conducted at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), it’s not uncommon for truckers (specifically drivers of tractor-trailers) to violate HOS regulations.While there can be various ways of trying to get around these regulations (such as by falsifying travel logs), the primary motivations for violating HOS regulations are to meet strict schedules or secure early delivery bonuses. Regardless of why it happens, however, the bottom line is that violating HOS regulations increases the risk of trucker fatigue and that this may be happening far more than regulators realize.
- There has been a lot of concern about trucker fatigue due to recent HOS changes – As of this year, hours-of-service (HOS) rules for truckers have been relaxed, as provisions regarding the restart of a 60- to 70-hour limit week have been suspended (for now). This has made some, including federal regulators, concerned that trucker fatigue may end up comprising public safety at greater levels.
- Trucker fatigue can be as dangerous as drunk driving – In fact, commercial drivers’ performance behind the wheel usually starts deteriorating, showing impairments similar to drunk drivers, after two nights of getting no more than 5 hours of sleep (and the average trucker only gets about 5 hours of sleep per night while hauling a load).When driving after 24 hours of no sleep, the impairments are similar to those exhibited by motorists with blood alcohol concentrations of 0.10 (or 2.5 times the legal limit for truckers and any commercially licensed motorists).
- EOBRs may help curb trucker fatigue – Although the jury is still out regarding how the relaxed HOS regulations may impact trucker fatigue, some contend that the use of electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs), which record the time (and other data while) a truck is being driven, would help prevent trucker fatigue, as drivers tend to comply with HOS rules (and other regulations) more when these recorders are onboard their vehicles.
Portland Truck Accident Lawyers at the Savage Law Firm
After being hurt in a truck accident, you can rely on the Portland truck accident attorneys at the Savage Law Firm for experienced help and aggressive legal advocacy.
For more than 30 years, our lawyers have been devoted to providing each of our clients with personal attention, respect and the highest quality legal services. Let us help you recover from the financial setbacks caused by a truck accident. We can help you hold negligent parties accountable so you succeed with your financial recovery and can move on with your life.
To learn more about our legal services and what we can do for you, call us at 503-222-0200 (in Portland) or at 206-957-7272 (in Seattle). You can also email us using the form on this page. We represent clients in communities in both Oregon and Washington from our offices in Portland and Seattle.