Hours of service requirements for truckers have long been a source of concern for drivers, as well as for lawmakers. Over the years, regulations have helped solidify the expectation that truck drivers operate safely and without undue tiredness or rushing. Both driver fatigue and speeding can threaten others' safety, which is why the drivers of commercial vehicles are held to stringent hours of service requirements in Northern Virginia and beyond.
Anyone who has ever taken a long road trip knows that at a certain point, the body and mind just can't stay awake any longer. With summer just beginning, many in Northern Virginia are likely preparing for their seasonal trips, planning itineraries and places to stop along the way. Traveling on highways and interstates means sharing the road with trucks, which is why it's extra important to leave adequate time for rest. A drowsy driver, either behind the wheel of a passenger car or a semi truck, can easily cause a car or truck crash.
As a region nestled within the busy corridors of the mid-Atlantic, northern Virginia has long served as a hub for transportation. Commuters in the Manassas area are used to driving alongside large semi trucks as they go about their daily business. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, though, the presence of these massive vehicles on the roads can sometimes prove highly dangerous. The DOT reports that over 3,000 people lose their lives each year as a result of either a truck accident or a bus crash. The DOT also reports that 13 percent of those fatalities were a result of truck driver fatigue.
These days, Virginians are busier than ever. Whether it's rushing to work or rushing the kids off to extracurricular activities, countless state residents strive to keep up with the demands of daily life. Unfortunately, this sometimes results in cutting corners or even compromising safety. A study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute points to the continuing problem of driver fatigue, one of the primary causes of traffic incidents.
With many American workers struggling to make ends meet, it seems like almost everyone is working longer hours these days. One segment of the workforce, though, is facing pressure to work less. Truck drivers are among the nation's sleepiest laborers, putting themselves at risk for tractor trailer accidents, serious injuries, or truck crashes involving fatalities.