Truck Accidents – Driver Fatigue

The National Transportation Safety Board analysis of Fatal Accident Reporting System (FARS) data indicates that in 1993 there were 3,311 heavy trucks involved in 3,169 fatal accidents, in which 3,783 persons died (432 were occupants of the heavy trucks). Research has suggested that truckdriver fatigue may be a contributing factor in as many as 30 to 40 percent of all heavy truck accidents. In 1990, the Safety Board completed a study of 182 heavy truck accidents that were fatal to the truckdriver. These 182 accidents were a census of the heavy truck accidents that were fatal to the driver in the eight participating States. The primary purpose in investigating fatal-to-the-driver heavy truck accidents was to assess the role of alcohol and other drugs in these accidents. The study found, however, that the most frequently cited probable cause was fatigue. The Board believes that the 3 1-percent incidence of fatigue in fatal-to-the-truckdriver accidents found in the 1990 study represents a valid estimate of the portion of fatal-to-the-driver heavy truck accidents that are fatigue-related.  To read more about the Safety Board’s study, results and recommendations, click here.

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