Semi truck crashes after driver falls asleep

June 13, 2013 by The Farber Law Group

A FedEx truck driver was in a rollover accident on Interstate 5 near Mount Vernon after he apparently fell asleep at the wheel. The truck accident occurred around 3am at milepost 216 according to King 5 news.

Luckily, the semi-truck driver suffered only minor injuries in the big rig accident. There were no other vehicles involved in the accident.

Truck driver fatigue or drowsy driving is one of the major causes of trucking accidents in the United States. In fact, one of four truck drivers surveyed admitted falling asleep while driving in the previous month.

While we don't know why this driver fell asleep at the wheel, it is noteworthy that truck drivers, on average, drive on less than five hours of sleep although it is recommended that all adults need seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.

Studies have shown that the lack of sleep affects one's driving and cognitive facilities much in the same way that alcohol does. A person's performance is impaired if they have less than 5 hours of sleep for two or more consecutive nights.

Hours of Service Rules

The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration has hours of service rules for commercial truck drivers:

  • drivers shall drive no more than 11 hours consecutively.
  • Drivers should have no more than 14 hours of consecutive on-duty which includes loading or unloading the truck, maintenance and paperwork
  • Drivers should have no more than 60 hours on duty for the previous seven days or no more than 70 hours on-duty for the 8 previous days.

These rules were enacted to reduce fatigue-related accidents and improve driver health. Drivers must keep a log book which shows their off duty, sleeper berth, driving and on duty times.

In accidents involving motor vehicles and big rigs, the driver's log books can be used to establish a case of driver negligence if the driver was not following the rules.

Bellevue Attorney Represents Victims of Semi Truck Accidents

This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those who have been killed.

Contact us today for a free and confidential case evaluation.

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