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Taking a look at driver fatigue and truck crashes

When truck drivers are on the road after failing to get a sufficient amount of sleep or having already spent too much time behind the wheel, they put the lives of others at risk. Unfortunately, this happens far too often in Monmouth and across New Jersey. Even with awareness campaigns and media coverage, truck driver fatigue remains a serious threat and continues to result in fatal wrecks.

In 2013, the Department of Transportation implemented new regulations aimed at curbing truck driver fatigue and reducing the number of truck accidents that occur. According to the DOT, the new rules, which prohibit truckers from driving for more than 70 hours per week, will not change anything for over 85 percent of truck drivers. Since driver fatigue presents a serious truck accident risk, the DOT estimates that roughly 1,400 accidents will be avoided each year, saving 19 lives and preventing 560 injuries.

Information published on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's website also provides a startling look at how prevalent, dangerous and costly truck accidents are. For example, truck wrecks cost society more than $40 billion each year, claim thousands of lives and result in tens of thousands of injuries. Furthermore, driving a truck is still one of the riskiest occupations in the United States and more than 500 truck drivers passed away in accidents in 2009. As a result, it is important for every truck company and driver to remember the dangers and do everything possible to prevent a semi truck crash.

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