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Driving Drunk vs. Driving Fatigue: The Effects On Truck Drivers

As professionals, commercial truckers are held to a higher standard than traditional motorists. The vehicles they operate often weigh upwards of 80,000 pounds and have the potential to cause catastrophic damage in an accident. Trucks also cannot maneuver quickly and brake slowly, requiring more time to avoid sudden dangers.

Unfortunately, there are some truck drivers that do not follow their heightened responsibility. Get some of the facts on drunk and fatigued driving and the effects they have on truck drivers.

Truckers Driving Under the Influence

There is no doubt that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol severely impairs the ability to operate a vehicle safely. Commercial truck drivers' heightened duty further restricts the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.04% compared to traditional motorists’ legal limit of 0.08%.

What many do not know is that fatigued driving carries many of the same risks as drunk driving. Fatigue causes a driver to be less attentive to the road, slows their reaction time, and affects a driver’s ability to make good decisions. These symptoms are identical to the effects of alcohol on a driver. The issue is underreported but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that between 2005 and 2009 there were 83,000 crashes in each of these years related to fatigued driving. This average includes 886 fatalities which is 2.5% of all fatal crashes.

Due to the risks of fatigued driving, all commercial truck drivers must keep a logbook documenting the hours they have been driving. These logbooks are documentation for law enforcement to enforce the hours-of-service requirements and to keep the public safe.

Injured in a Truck Accident? We Can Help

If you have been injured in an accident caused by a drunk or distracted truck driver, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. At Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn, we fight for the rights of those injured by reckless truck drivers. We have successfully resolved numerous truck accident cases for victims and have recovered millions of dollars for clients.

Contact Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn at (415) 940-7176 to learn how we can help you.