Driver fatigue is a rampant problem in the trucking industry. According to a survey of commercial truck drivers, approximately 25% of them admitted to falling asleep at the wheel just within the month prior to taking the survey. In recent months, there have been multiple fatigue-related accidents involving FedEx Ground drivers specifically.
About FedEx Ground Drivers
FedEx Ground drivers are different than most delivery truck drivers. This is because FedEx uses independent contractors for their Ground program, rather than FedEx employees. Because the drivers are independent contractors, FedEx Ground says that certain factors that could disqualify truckers slip through the cracks.
The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) compiled data that indicated contracted FedEx Ground drivers drive more annual miles than any other drivers with FedEx – more than 1.5 billion.
Hours of Service Regulations
In response to the burgeoning fatigue-related accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) instituted Hours of Service regulations for drivers of commercial motor vehicles, also called "CMVs." The final draft was published in December 2011.
Hours of Service regulations accomplish the following:
- Limit truck drivers to 11 hours maximum driving time, and only after 10 consecutive hours off the job. The ratio is 10-hour limit after 8 hours off work for passenger carrying truckers.
- Prevents truckers from driving if 8 hours have not passed since the end of their last 30-minute resting period.
- Drivers are not allowed to drive more than 60 hours in 7 consecutive days, or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days.
These and other HOS regulations were instituted to prevent serious collisions, however, fatigue can also be caused by what time of day/night the trucker is driving. For example, a trucker may have gotten enough sleep, but driving at 3am may still result in fatigue. Statistics also indicate that fatigue might have something to do with distance, as 65% of fatal crashes occur on trips where the driver traveled more than 51 miles.
Were you involved in an accident with a FedEx truck?
If you or someone you love was involved in an accident with a FedEx or FedEx Ground truck, we invite you to contact the San Antonio truck accident lawyers at Wyatt Law Firm today for a free review of your legal rights and options. Truck drivers and their employers can be held responsible for accidents caused by negligence and carelessness, such as falling asleep at the wheel. Get in touch with us today to learn more about your possibility for legal recourse.