New Regulations Make It Tougher for Truckers to Drive Drowsy

A new report claims that drowsy driving among all drivers is becoming a major threat on American roads. This is still a big problem with truck drivers as well, but some people do see hope for the future.

Jeffrey Steinberg is the director of education at the APEX CDL Institute in Kansas City, Kan., notes that while there are still numerous incidents of truck driver fatigue causing crashes, the culture is changing. 

Steinberg says that new truck drivers are coming into the industry that are not having as many problems with hours of service rules because they have never known it any other way.

truck crash

He noted that some motor carriers are changing their pay schedules and routes to meet federal guidelines about hours of service per week for truckers. Steinberg added that at his company, many of their first year drivers are able to average $1000 per week in their first year with the new pay guidelines.

Further, he said that many companies are installing technology in their rigs that allows them to turn off the motor remotely when the trucker reaches his hours maximum.

Our View

We are glad that some trucking companies are taking the hours of service rules issued by the FMCSA more seriously. Hopefully, this will lead to fewer deadly truck crashes in the future.

Unfortunately, in recent years, our truck crash attorneys continue to have to file civil lawsuits against some truck drivers and their companies who exceed their hours of service. We had a Virginia Beach truck accident case where the truck driver fell asleep and essentially ran over a car when he rear ended them at a traffic light. While that netted a $5.5 million settlement, the family is shattered forever. We hope that more trucking companies will get on board with following federal guidelines on hours of service.