Federal Laws Aim To Prevent Distracted And Drowsy Truck Driving

It is no secret that truck driving is a dangerous industry. Not only do truck drivers have to navigate their large vehicles in and out of busy traffic, but they often drive long hours. This can result in driver fatigue. Unsurprisingly, drowsy driving and large trucks make up a deadly combination. In a trucking accident, those in smaller vehicles are the ones who usually fare the worst. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,921 people across the country were killed in accidents involving large trucks in 2012. These included numerous crashes in Oklahoma.


There are many reasons a large truck might get into a crash. According to State Farm, these can include the following:

  • Poor road, weather and traffic conditions
  • Speeding or reckless driving
  • Alcohol or substance use
  • Mechanical failure, particularly brakes
  • Improper cargo loading
  • Distracted or fatigued driving

In fact, fatigue and distraction are such pervasive factors in truck crashes that new federal laws were enacted. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration mandates that all truck drivers are limited to 11 hours of driving time each day. Additionally, they must take a 34-hour consecutive rest period after driving for 70 hours in a week. This is a reduction from the previous maximum of 82 driving hours in a week.

Commercial truck drivers are prohibited from using handheld mobile devices of any kind while driving. This includes talking on a cellphone as well as texting and driving. To violate these laws may result in heavy fines or the trucker losing his or her commercial license.


It is uncertain whether driver fatigue, distraction or another cause resulted in a fatal accident last October. According to News On 6, a UPS driver had parked his three-trailer rig on the side of the H.E. Bailey Turnpike in Grady County. About 3:00 in the morning, another semi-truck drifted off the road and struck the UPS truck from behind, plowing through two of the UPS trailers. The UPS truck's driver had been standing just outside the truck at the time of the crash. Both drivers were killed in the accident.

If you or a loved one were injured in a truck accident, it is likely that you are dealing with a mountain of medical bills and other losses. The injuries that come from serious truck crashes can result in lifelong physical, emotional and financial challenges. It may help to contact an experienced personal injury to discuss your options, including the possible compensation of your expenses.


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