The Hours of Service regulations are, as the name suggests, rules that govern the number of hours that a truck driver can work in a given day or week. Limiting the number of hours that a driver is behind the wheel is the best way to fight fatigue, which is a major cause of serious tractor trailer accidents.
After numerous studies on the effects of these regulations, the results say the rules are very successful at limiting truck accidents. The Hours of Service laws we know today began to take effect in the mid 2000’s. Since that time, the number of fatalities from truck accidents has taken a significant drop.
Every year since the rules took effect there has been a drop in accidents. In total, there has been more than a 20% drop in truck accident injuries and fatalities.
The effects are not surprising if you know the effect of fatigue on a driver. Mental impairment begins after someone has been awake for 16 hours. By the time a person is awake for 17 hours, they are as impaired as someone with a blood alcohol content of .05. Once you approach 19 to 20 hours awake, your response time is as limited as someone who is over the legal limit for alcohol. It’s no wonder that rules designed to limit fatigued driving have had such a positive effect.
Even the American Trucking Association has embraced the new data on fatigued driving. They are now pushing for more training for drivers to make them aware of the effects of fatigue.
To read more about the specifics of the Hours of Service regulations, check out the experienced lawyers at the Bradley Law firm.