The Link Between Truck Accidents and Illegal Overtime

semi truck driving on the highway

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) teamed up to conduct a study to determine the main causes of road accidents involving massive trucks that weigh more than 10,000 pounds. The Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS) examined 1,123 big trucks and collected data on serious accidents involving them and other vehicles.

What is Causation?

Causation refers to the specific cause of truck crashes. Generally speaking, it can even relate to things happening hours, days or even months prior to the crash. Among the reasons for these serious road accidents are the trucker’s experience, level of training or lack of training, the design of the truck, road conditions, weather conditions and other situations like fatigue or being under the influence. One key reason why a truck gets into a crash is due to the long overtime hours truckers put in on the job.

Data Collection

The study looked at 963 crashes that occurred at 24 locations in 17 states. Interviews were conducted with inspectors, drivers, passengers, and witnesses to gain better insight into the occurrences. The inspectors also looked at the trucks involved, the truckers’ logbooks and additional information. The researchers reviewed police accident reports, hospital records, and coroners’ reports while also revisiting the scenes of the accidents.

Conditions of the truck drivers, other drivers, their behavior, conditions of the trucks and other vehicles and other information were factored in by the researchers.

National Crash Estimates

Unfortunately, too many truck drivers are on super-long schedules and get very little time off to sleep or even rest. Their demanding overtime hours and employers require them to drive straight through long hours in a single day to arrive at their destination. This is often illegal as truckers, just like any other employee, need time off to recharge so that they are at their best. Driver fatigue comes up at the top of the causes of serious crashes on the road. According to the NHTSA, fatigue behind the wheel causes around 100,000 accidents and 1,550 fatalities annually.

Truck drivers are required to follow the rules and regulations set forth by the federal government regarding the number of hours they can drive without rest. They must also obtain a specific amount of hours of rest before they get back to work and get back behind the wheel. This is one reason why they are required to keep logs as they serve as proof that they have met these requirements.

At the same time, if the trucking company institutes many hours of overtime on its truckers and accidents occur due to fatigue or falling asleep behind the wheel, the company must be held liable.

If you have been injured after an accident involving a huge truck, you deserve compensation for your medical expenses and other damages. If you are in the New York City area, contact Loscalzo & Loscalzo, P.C. at your earliest convenience to discuss your case.

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