Everyone, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), agrees that fatigued commercial drivers and truckers who fall asleep behind the wheel are a significant safety concern on our nation’s highways and interstates. Yet, each year, tens of thousands of accidents take place in the United States that involve tired truck drivers.
What should we be doing to reduce the rate of Virginia trucking accidents caused by fatigue?
- Tighter federal trucking regulations. Some believe that the recent changes to federal trucking laws weren’t enough to curb sleepy truckers—is 10 consecutive hours on the road still too long?
- Tougher enforcement. It can be difficult to enforce federal trucking laws, especially when it can be difficult to gauge whether a trucker is fatigued. However, not enforcing these laws means that truckers will largely ignore safe limits of driving.
- Tougher penalties for trucking companies. Trucking companies make more money when they break the rules. If they were punished more effectively for putting tired drivers on the road, they may see less of a reason to risk profits and bend the rules.
- Drivers who report fatigued truckers. Far too many people see a truck drifting in and out of its lane but don’t choose to act. Next time you see a fatigued driver, call the police and report the safety hazard.
- Injury victims who fight after accidents. If you were seriously injured by a fatigued driver, don’t just fight for compensation. Fight also because it is important that these truckers and trucking companies take responsibility for their actions.