Articles Tagged with Hours of Service

The average age of truck drivers is now 49 and the industry has faced a driver shortage for some years. In addition to the shortage, there is also a high turnover rate in this industry. Part of the problem appears to be related to working conditions. Truck drivers earn an average of $40,260 annually, spend a long time away from families and have a stressful job. They also work long hours at a dangerous and demanding job. All of this may be preventing new drivers from entering the profession. It may also be contributing to turnover rates.

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The driver shortage is a serious one, with some estimates suggesting the unmet need amounts to about 100,000 commercial drivers.

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Some research suggests sleep problems and fatigue can be at least a partial cause in up to 40% of all commercial truck crashes. Polls of truck drivers in 2006 found 13% reported falling asleep while driving and 65% reported signs of drowsiness.

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Fatigued driving in Homestead, Miami, and other communities is a serious concern because it can lead to pedestrian accidents and traffic collisions. Fatigue behind the wheel can cause many concerning issues, according to safety experts, including:

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Truckers already face stricter policies than most users of the road. Federal rules, for example, require truck drivers to submit to medical testing and to get a set number of hours of rest in between driving periods. Hours of Service rules also limit how many hours commercial truck drivers can stay on the road.

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All of these regulations are aimed at reducing the risk of fatigued driving, one of the biggest risks on our roads, according to safety experts. Dispute the measures, truck accidents in Hollywood and South Florida continue to be caused by fatigued drivers. It has led some legislators to consider passing stricter laws to prevent fatigued driving.

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Truck drivers already have one of the most dangerous jobs in America – they spend long hours on the road, driving heavy equipment at high speeds across highways, and then assist with loading and offloading heavy and sometimes hazardous materials. What makes this job even more dangerous is shiftwork.

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Many truck drivers working shifts, meaning that in order to make their deadlines they may have to drive all night one week, during the day at another time of the year, and in the early mornings or early evenings during another part of a season. Even with Hours of Service (HoS) regulations, the fact that truck drivers don’t work business hours can hurt them and can increase their risk of truck accidents in Miami and other communities.

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Truck drivers have one of the most dangerous jobs and may face a higher risk of work-related illness, accidents, and injuries, according to a new study from the University of Utah’s Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health. The study identified a number of lifestyle factors that can increase truck drivers’ risk of crashes:

1) Poor health monitoring.

Drivers who have elevated pulse pressure, high blood pressure, and other issues may have an increased risk of heart disease and truck accidents. However, since drivers are on the road so often monitoring issues such as blood pressure or talking to a doctor regularly may be a problem, potentially meaning serious health conditions are not monitored closely. The University of Utah found that 24% of the truck drivers they studied had high blood pressure but had not been diagnosed or were not receiving care for the condition.

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Trucker fatigue is a serious problem. Truck drivers work long hours, and in some cases need to be on the road to deliver products by specific deadlines. Hard-working drivers, though, can be tired drivers, especially when there aren’t rules in place to ensure they get adequate rest.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), fatigue is a leading contributor to the truck accidents that claim more than 4000 lives across this country each year. Over the past two years, the FMCSA and other regulatory groups have supported the idea of new laws to lower the maximum working week for truckers from 82 to 70. The new Hours of Service rules would also create mandatory breaks, including breaks at night.

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Many truck and car accidents in Hialeah and other Florida communities are caused by human error. Human error can involve failing to check blind spots, making a mistake when changing lanes, or braking suddenly.

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Drivers and other cars may make decisions that cause you to be involved in a trucking accident. For example, another car may swerve in front of a truck, causing the truck to slam on the brakes or shift lanes, potentially crashing into you. Another car may try to drive around a truck and crash into you if you are driving in front of the same vehicle. Drivers tailgating a truck may suddenly slam on the brakes, causing you to rear-end their vehicle if they break too suddenly.

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According to the truck industry, the majority of truck accidents in Homestead and other communities occur due to passenger car drivers. In fact, in many car and truck accidents, the car drivers blamed. Even though it’s true that truck drivers have extensive training and have to be carefully tested to keep and maintain their commercial licenses, truck drivers aren’t immune to human error.

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In fact, there are many errors that truck drivers make that can lead to collisions:

1) Poor health choices.

Fatigued driving, drugged driving, and drunk driving involving truck drivers in Homestead and other communities can and does happen. Even though there are strict rules preventing truck drivers from engaging in dangerous behavior, it does not prevent drivers from making poor choices. Some drivers have sleep apnea or sleep disorders or other conditions that they fail to disclose. Some drivers drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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A lot has been written over the past few years about driver fatigue. Experts have noted that fatigue plays a role in many fatal truck accidents in Miami and other communities, even though the issue is preventable. Legislators have weighed in with many solutions for fighting driver fatigue. In fact, just this year the hours of service rules were changed to cut back the amount of time commercial truck drivers can stay on the road before they have to rest.

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One issue that often gets overlooked with truck driver fatigue is money. Truck drivers do not typically enjoy driving while tired and in many cases industry experts say that the problem is an economical one. That is, truck drivers are encouraged to drive longer hours and are financially motivated to do so. Many truck carriers pay by mile driven and the fastest truck drivers that travel the longest can often expect to get better pay.

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Fatigued driving is a known contributor to trucking collisions in Homestead, Miami, and other cities across the country. Many government studies and independent research studies have shown the huge impact that fatigue driving can have on response times and on driving safety. Truck drivers are especially vulnerable to fatigued driving because they work long hours and often need to make strict deadlines, which can mean that sleep falls by the wayside. It’s why federal rules require truck drivers to get adequate rest every day and every week.

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While safety advocates and Congress have looked at fatigued driving in big rigs and tractor trailers, it is important to keep in mind that tired truck drivers are not the only culprits. Passenger car drivers also drive fatigued and there are no rules requiring them to get adequate rest. According to a number of studies, fatigued car drivers, too, are contributing to trucking crashes.

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