Earlier this month, a FedEx truck slammed into one car and set off a terrible chain reaction on Interstate 24 West in Nashville. The car became wedged underneath the truck and dragged down the highway before it eventually dislodged and caught fire. According to the report, six other cars were struck by the FedEx truck before it finally came to a halt.
The FedEx truck driver was cited for fatigued driving that day. The report said the driver logged more than 11 hours in less than 24 hours, which is the maximum truck drivers are legally allowed.
Fatigued Truck Drivers Put Others at Risk
They are the biggest vehicles on our roads. Due to the sheer size, momentum and weight of a commercial truck of any kind, truck accidents can have catastrophic consequences that can result in serious injuries and death. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, truck driver fatigue contributes to somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of all truck accidents in the United States. Worse, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that truck driver fatigue causes 13 percent of all fatal crashes involving a commercial truck and passenger cars.
The President of Local Teamsters 480, the union for truck drivers, said shipping companies and manufacturers are constantly pushing truck drivers to the limit. The president went on to say truck drivers constantly contact the union looking to unionize their company or take on a union job because companies are pressuring drivers to break the law. Legally, truck drivers are allowed to drive no more than 11 hours in one day and must take 10 hours off after.
It is not uncommon for companies and dispatchers to put pressure on truck drivers to drive longer hours to meet shorter deadlines. If a truck driver does not deliver a load on time, they face repercussions. However, these companies should not allow drivers to skimp on safety or on sleep in order to meet deadlines.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters” Colossians 3:23