Semitrailers and large commercial transport vehicles play a critical role in Arizona’s economy. The men and women who drive trucks are responsible for transporting important goods and products across the country, but they must also adhere to specific rules and regulations. Many of these regulations pertain to how many hours these drivers can be behind wheel without a break or time off from the rigors of driving.

Tired drivers are dangerous drivers, and truckers can only operate a truck for a certain number of hours before they have to pull over and take a break. Limiting the number of hours a trucker can drive is an important safety rule, but it can have a negative impact as well. It is possible these rules have truckers actually trying to beat the clock — travel farther before they have to pull over and take a break.

An adverse effect

There is a federal law in place that requires truckers to take a break after eight straight hours on the road. As a result, many truckers believe they are fighting the clock, driving at faster speeds in order to cover more ground. Statistics indicate that the number of fatal accidents involving large trucks is up, yet some industry leaders believe there is no correlation between the increase in fatal accidents and federal regulations. 

It is difficult to know with certainty how speed and regulations play a role in the number of fatal accidents. Some truckers point out that making them stop actually increases fatigue, and as you may know, fatigue can have fatal consequences. Truckers point out that lack of safe places to stop and fewer accessible places to park can lead to more fatigued driving as well.

Other factors to consider 

Speed and fatigue may not be the only things that are leading to increased numbers of fatal and serious truck accidents. It is possible that newer and younger drivers are more likely to engage in dangerous behaviors, such as texting and driving or speeding, than older, more experienced truckers. Even a moment of distraction can have devastating consequences, especially when a large truck is involved.

Who is liable?

A truck accident can have devastating consequences, including extensive property damage and serious or fatal injuries. Regardless of federal regulations, fatigue and other factors, truckers are responsible for the choices they make behind the wheel. If you believe you are a victim of negligent or reckless driving, Arizona laws allows you to pursue compensation through a personal injury claim.