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Fatigued driving difficult to measure for truckers

Truck driver fatigue is a serious problem in New Jersey and around the country. Fatigued driving, however, is notoriously difficult to measure by law enforcement. In 2011, the Minnesota State Police made a checklist that troopers used to try to determine if a truck driver was driving while tired. The checklist was found to be a violation of the drivers' Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure, however.

The problem is that the federal regulation about fatigued driving for truckers is very vague in its language. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to change the regulation to make it more understandable in 2014. In 2015, the CVSA amended the criteria officers use to determine whether or not to issue a citation for fatigued driving.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has released a report sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation regarding the problem. The report pointed out the problem of measuring the relationship between fatigued driving and rules for hours of service that truckers follow. The report's authors indicated that the rules do not adequately address whether or not the drivers get enough sleep when they are not on duty.

A semi-truck accident can have horrific consequences for others who are involved in it. Trucks are so heavy and large that many accidents caused by trucks are fatal. The rules regarding hours of service are meant to reduce the risk of such accidents, but fatigued driving obviously needs better methods of measurement. People who are injured in an accident caused by a drowsy truck driver may want to seek the assistance of an attorney in obtaining compensation from the driver as well as the trucking company.

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