Danger on the Road – Truck Driver Fatigue

In this Insider Exclusive Investigative TV Special we “Go Behind The Headlines” in “DANGER ON THE ROAD – TRUCK DRIVER FATIGUE” to investigate this deadly serious problem responsible for thousands of deaths per year, and how the Government, Safety Advocates, and dedicated Trial Lawyers are working together on national and state, levels of government, to reduce this serious problem.

The Insider Exclusive analyzed five years of federal crash data. We added up the fatalities, county by county, road by road, during that period. We found that between 3,500 and 5,000 people are killed in truck crashes on our nation’s highways every year. Although that’s the equivalent of a commercial airplane crash occurring every week, there is a general lack of awareness on the part of the motoring public about this problem.

Estimates suggest that fatigue is a major factor in up to 30% of fatal crashes and 15% of serious injury crashes. Fatigue also contributes to approximately 25% of insurance losses in the heavy vehicle industry. Driver fatigue is particularly dangerous because one of the symptoms is a decreased ability to judge one’s own level of tiredness.

Research has shown that not sleeping for more than 17 hours has an effect on driving ability…. the equivalent of a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.05. Not sleeping for 24 hours has the same effect of having a BAC of 0.10, double the legal limit.

In the best of conditions, tractor trailers are dangerous vehicles simply due to their size and weight. The average semi can carry more than 40,000 pounds of cargo, let alone the mass of the truck, fuel and trailer. The average passenger vehicle, on the other hand, weighs only 4,000 pounds — a deadly match in a collision.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is in charge of regulating the commercial trucking industry, including how many hours truck drivers are permitted to operate their vehicles within any given day and week. The Code of Federal Regulations, 49 C.F.R. 392 contains mandatory rules regarding fatigue and impairment.

Under present federal hours-of-service (HOS) regulations, commercial truck drivers are required to follow the 11-hour and 60/70 rules:
• 11-hour rule: Truck drivers may not drive more than 11 consecutive hours within a 14-hour period followed by 10 hours off-duty.

• 60/70 rule: Truck drivers may spend no more than a total of 60 hours on-duty within any seven-day period or 70 hours on-duty within any eight-day period. A new seven- or eight-day period does not begin until the truck driver has spent at least 34 hours off-duty.

In this Insider Exclusive Investigative TV Special, we interview Safety advocates, including Joan Claybrook, Public Citizen’s Chair Emeritus, Chair of “Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways” (CRASH), an former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the Carter administration.

As well as Daphne Izer – Co-founder and Co-chair, Parents Against Tired Truckers (P.A.T.T), and Jennifer Tierney and Dawn King, Board members of CRASH, who dedicate their time and energy to reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by truck-related crashes, and working on Issues that are of important to improve truck safety like :

Hours-of-Service rules that promote safety, and provide sufficient time for drivers to obtain quality sleep.
Drivers paid for all hours worked.
Mandatory posting of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act, STAA 3113 Poster
For (Drivers Rights) Carrier, Shipper, Broker, Freight Forwarder, Receiver accountability and liability for their involvement in illegal shipments and violations of Hours-of-Service regulations.
On-Board Computers
Availability of sufficient, safe rest areas.
Shipper Loads – Drivers Drive – Receiver Unloads.
Public education on fatigued driving.
This Trucking safety crisis is a direct result of government deregulation in 1980, and an super competitive industry with many companies willing to cut corners. Fierce competition, with shippers frequently having unrealistic demands. Responsible trucking companies also want improvements in safety. The Government’s mistaken rationale for deregulation was that fewer and simpler regulations would lead to a raised level of competitiveness, therefore higher productivity, more efficiency and overall lower prices overall.

One Nationally prominent law firm, Dollar, Burns & Becker, L.C., has been for years, reaching out to some of the more responsible motor carriers to identify issues on which they can work together. Two of their partners, Tim Dollar and Jeff Burns, have become not only extraordinary Advocates for safety on our highways, but have also become some of the most sought after trial lawyers in catastrophic crashes involving trucks.

As a result of historic cooperation between Safety Advocates and law firms like Dollar Burns & Becker during the 2012 legislative session, a bill requiring Electronic On-Board Recording devices, or EOBR devices, to make it harder for drivers to falsify their logs and drive longer than allowed was finally passed.

In every truck crash case that Dollar Burns & Becker represents, the lawyers attempt to require the trucking company to do more than just pay money. They attempt to identify the issue that caused the particular crash in question and require the company take steps to improve that aspect of safety within the company.

The result of almost 20 years of pushing for improved safety in the trucking industry and joining together with some of the best trial lawyers in the country, and representing truck crash victims in 34 states, is that the law firm of Dollar Burns & Becker, LC provides compassionate representation for truck crash victims and achieves maximum recovery while also working for maximum reduction of similar crashes in the future.

Tim Dollar and Jeff Burns have earned the highest respect from citizens and lawyers alike…. as some of the best Trial lawyers in Kansas City…. In Missouri….. and in the nation. Their amazing courtroom skills and success rate …. continue to provide his clients with the results they need……And the results they deserve. They make sure juries understand how injuries can truly devastate a person’s personal and professional life! Remember… They won’t be outworked. And they will not rest until justice is done for their clients. Their success in the Courtroom speaks for itself.

Please contact Jeff Burns and Tim Dollar @ Dollar Burns & Becker @ http://dollar-law.com/ or 816-876-2600 | 877-816-2600
Please contact Jeff Burns and Tim Dollar | Dollar Burns & Becker Dollar Burns & Becker | http://dollar-law.com or 816-876-2600 | 877-816-2600

Produced by: Insider Exclusive