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Truck driver fatigue a real danger

Truck driver fatigue leads to a number of catastrophic accidents in California every year. While fatigued driving is illegal, the federal regulation governing it is extremely vague, making it difficult for law enforcement officers to know when to issue citations to drivers or order them to pull off the road.

n an attempt to help law enforcement officers, the Minnesota State Police issued a checklist that troopers used to question drivers they suspected of fatigued driving. The checklist was reportedly so intrusive that it was subsequently found to be a violation of the truck drivers' constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure.

Because of the vagueness of the federal regulation, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Association petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to make modifications to it to make it easier to understand. In 2015, the CVSA also released updated criteria for determining when an out-of-service order should be issued by police. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has issued a report about how crash risk is related to driver fatigue. One issue that is noted is that even with hours of service rules, it is difficult to measure the quality of sleep a truck driver may get when they are off duty.

Commercial trucks are so large and heavy that they can severely injure or kill other motorists when they are involved in accidents. The industry is heavily regulated in order to help reduce the risk that a truck driver will cause an accident. Some of the regulations are difficult to enforce, however. Driver fatigue poses a very serious danger to all of the people who are traveling on the road at the same time, and a person who is injured in such an accident may want to have a lawyer's assistance in seeking compensation.

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