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Highway Safety: Rules Requiring Rest for Tired Truckers at Risk

Paying attention to your own driving can be hard for a number of reasons: bad weather, trackless tires, and distractions in your own vehicle. Paying attention to other drivers on the road is a priority, but it cannot be the only focus.

When you’re driving on the highway, it is important to pay attention to truckers and giving them the space they need to maneuver, but how do you know when a trucker has been sleep deprived?

Although there were always issues surrounding a trucker’s amount of rest, after the devastating and tragic accident involving comedian Tracy Morgan, the headlines began to pay closer attention to the problem.

Rules and RegulationsHighway Safety

Because accidents involving sleep deprivation are one of the leading causes of highway accidents today, officials are doing whatever is necessary to control these situations.

In 2013, the rules were finally changed. Truckers were to reduce their work hours from 82 to 70. A period of 34-hours was mandatory to continue working afterward. These rest periods were to include at least two periods between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., and truckers were not to drive more than eleven hours in a day.


Before the rules were set in place, it was difficult to get truckers to sleep during their shifts. After the rules were set in place, the trucking industry had many qualms with the regulations. First, they had issues telling truckers when they had to sleep and what times they needed to do so. Additionally, removing truckers from the road between the early morning hours caused an increase in trucks on the highway during regular traffic hours leading to a decrease in productivity.

Whether or not these rules will remain is still to be determined.

Why Rules Are Necessary

In 2012, The Department of Transportation suggested that over 3,500 people were killed in accidents involving trucks. While the numbers didn’t show any relation between sleep-deprived drivers, approximately 13% of these crashes involved fatigued drivers. This article suggests that driver-fatigue is the most common cause of crashes involving 18-wheel trucks.

Paying attention to the road can be difficult enough, especially with small children or other drivers, but preparing yourself for truckers and the possibility of an accident with one is simply overwhelming.

Consultation with Professional Truck Accident Lawyers

Getting into an accident with a trucker can be a tough situation to face, especially if you are dealing with life-threatening injuries. While it may be difficult to distinguish whether or not a trucker was too tired to drive, at Fetterman & Associates, PA we will do what is necessary to get the truth and get you the settlement you deserve. Call us at 561-845-2510 for a free consultation and you can get help from experienced professionals regarding your injury claims.

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