Can the government really dictate when truck drivers and commercial drivers sleep? Yes, it can. The trucking industry has allegedly insisted that the government shouldn’t intervene by regulating it, but sleep-deprived drivers can cause serious accidents on the highways and roads where others are. Safety needs to be prioritized, but what’s concerning is that the Senate has now made a few exemptions from the current rules that limit the number of hours drivers can be on the road.
Is that a good move? It’s a hard decision, when parties could be trying to help an industry while weighing the risk to the public. What is clear is that fatigued drivers do cause accidents.
For Instance, the National Transportation Safety Board recently issued a driver with a citation for being fatigued while driving. His fatigue led to a chain-reaction crash that killed one person and led to the injury of nine others. That driver had been awake for over 28 hours and was speeding in a construction zone when the crash took place.
Another situation took place recently when a driver caused a crash on Interstate 75. Six people were killed, and it’s been indicated that the driver had been awake longer than federal regulations allow for at the current time. The driver also tested positive for methamphetamine, which can be used as a stimulant to help keep you awake. The drug is illegal, and combined with the driver’s 15 hours on the road that day and 50 hours on the road in the previous three days, it made for a deadly combination.
Source: Kentucky.com, “Sleep-deprived truckers, exit now,” accessed Aug. 14, 2015