Truck driving is more difficult than it might seem. Drivers spend the majority of their day staring at the road while staying alert for potential hazards. This repetitive cycle, combined with unreasonable hours, is taking its toll and causing some drivers to drive while drowsy or even fall asleep at the wheel. That raises the question: Are truck drivers working too long?
How Long Can Truck Drivers Work?
Trucking companies are supposed to abide by “hours of service” regulations which dictate how long a driver can be on the road before they must stop and rest. Currently, truck drivers can work for a maximum of 11 hours before they are required to take a 10-hour break.
Under these regulations, truck drivers are not supposed to operate their vehicle for more than 14 hours in a 24-hour cycle. Additionally, they should not work for more than 60 hours in a single week, meaning long-haul truck drivers can have one full day off for every six days they drive.
What’s the Problem?
The issue with long-haul truck driving is that it’s often done on a tight schedule, especially since shipping demands are increasing while the truck driver shortage continues to grow. While 11-hour days are supposed to be the maximum, they have become the norm for long-haul truck drivers. Those long days can take their toll and lead to burnout, leaving truck drivers less aware of their surroundings.
The other issue is when trucking companies and fleet managers push their drivers to the point of fatigue and even beyond their hours of service limits to deliver shipments on time. When truck drivers feel pressured by management, they may continue driving even when they’re too tired to continue. That, in turn, can lead to a catastrophic crash caused by a drowsy driver.
If you or someone you love suffered serious injuries or wrongful death in a trucking accident, we are here for you. To discuss your crash with an experienced Kansas City Truck accident attorney from Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman, send us an email or call us at (816) 542-5999 for a free consultation.