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How do truck drivers’ hours affect accident rates?

Chances are that you frequently encounter large trucks on a regular basis on Georgia roadways, particularly on busy freeways. The size and speed of these vehicles can often present a danger to you and others sharing the road. While a number of factors can contribute to trucking accidents, such as alcohol use, speeding and reckless driving, fatigue is a serious issue for many truck drivers and has been increasing in recent years.

It is a well-known fact that many truck drivers work long hours to transport their cargo to its destination in a timely manner. But just how much do these hours affect the ability of truckers to drive safely? According to the New York Times, it is not uncommon for truck drivers to be on the road as many as 11 hours each day, or even longer. A full night’s sleep may not prevent the risk of a truck crash occurring as a result of fatigue. In fact, studies show that drivers are more likely to fall asleep at the wheel with each hour that passes on the road, greatly increasing the chances of others suffering serious injuries or fatalities.

Since 2009, truck crashes have been increasing throughout the U.S. It’s estimated that drowsy driving has caused about 13 percent of these accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 153 fatalities in Georgia in 2012 that involved large truck crashes. It can be said that many of these accidents were caused by truck drivers who should not have been behind the wheel due to fatigue and long hours. 

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