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Fatigued Truck Drivers Create Dangers on New Mexico Highways

By:  Mark Caruso, Attorney

New Mexico Truck Accident Attorneys  (505) 369-1361

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Interstate truck drivers who follow federal rules requiring additional nighttime rest are more alert and less likely to deviate from their lane on the highway, according to a recent study. In other words, "more rest equals safer drivers and less trucking accidents in New Mexico" claims Mark Caruso with New Mexico Truck Accident Attorneys.

The independent University of Washington study found that the so-called "restart" provision in the U.S. Department of Transportation hours of service rule for commercial truck drivers helps reduce dangerous fatigue. The study examined the driving habits of 106 truckers over 1,260 days and over the course of 415,000 miles on the road.

New Mexico Truck Accident Attorneys are aggressive advocates for the victims of trucking accidents. "We believe that collisions on New Mexico highways from semi trucks, tractor trailers, 18 wheelers and other commercial vehicles would be reduced if truck drivers using our highways were more alert to their surroundings."

The trucking safety rules adopted by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration were established to protect motorists on the highways. The rules for hours of service were designed to provide enough time for a truck driver to recover from cumulative fatigue where they work beyond the weekly maximum driving limits of 60 hours or 70 hours.

 

If commercial truck drivers choose to "restart" their 60 hour or 70 hour weekly duty cycle limit, they are required to include at least two nighttime rest periods (from 1 a.m. until 5 a.m.) in their restart breaks to allow sufficient opportunity for sleep recuperation before beginning the next weekly duty cycle.

Driving long hours on a continuing basis is associated with a high risk of crashes on New Mexico highways. Truckers who consistently drive long hours experience chronic fatigue and a number of other serious chronic health conditions. For this reason, it's not uncommon to see commercial truck drivers using narcotics to "stay awake".

The study found that commercial drivers who take the two nighttime rest periods experience:

* Better attention to the roadway;

* Less sleepiness; and

* Better lane control.

"For the small percentage of truckers that average up to 70 hours of work a week, two nights of rest is better for their safety and the safety of everyone on the road," said Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne S. Ferro.

"This study confirms the science we used to make the hours-of-service rule more effective at preventing crashes that involve sleepy or drowsy truck drivers," Ferro said.

Yearly, there are ovewr 325,000 large truck accidents with 4,000 people killed and 110,000 people injured in crashes involving trucks with a gross weight exceeding 10,000 pounds.

If you or a loved one has been injured or killed because of a fatigued semi truck driver, contact Mark Caruso with New Mexico Truck Accident Attorneys for a free consultation at 505-369-1361 or see our informative website at NM Truck Accident Attorneys 

With over 33 years of experience in handling severe personal injuries and wrongful death caused by fatigued and negligent commercial truck drivers, we have successfully won large settlements for our clients. 

We are members of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum because of our successful results and have extremely high ratings from our clients.  Please see our testimonials at Caruso Law Offices 

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