Why are there still sleep-deprived truckers on the road?

Numerous laws and trucking regulations are in place to prevent truck crashes and keep motorists safe. They are supposed to prevent accidents caused by sleep-deprived drivers, unsafe cargo and defective equipment, but these accidents still happen leaving many people to wonder why.

The answer is simple and frustrating: People are breaking the rules.

A recent investigation by the USA TODAY Network found that truckers regularly violate federal regulations limiting the hours they can drive. In fact, the report says that "fatigued truckers are a near-constant threat on the roads." In their analysis of just one port, investigators found that on average, there were 470 instances a day of drivers driving without taking the legally required break.

Commercial truck drivers are expected to comply with Hours of Service regulations, which dictate how long a driver can be on the road before he or she must take a break. These breaks are crucial to preventing drivers from driving while impaired by fatigue. 

However, as the report notes, truckers often violate these rules, sometimes with the permission or at the request of their employer. This means that not only are individual drivers breaking the rules and endangering other people, but the trucking company may be as well. 

When truckers violate federal laws and cause an accident, they and the trucking company should be held liable for any damage caused by negligence or recklessness. It is one thing to cause an accident because of a single mistake behind the wheel; it is another to knowingly violate federal laws that are supposed to keep people safe.

Victims of truck crashes often suffer catastrophic injuries; many do not survive. While there is no way to turn back the clock and prevent an accident, victims and their families can pursue compensation and hold truckers and trucking companies accountable for the damage caused by their dangerous decisions by filing a legal claim. 

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