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Authorities on the lookout for tired drivers

Hours-of-service compliance was a major focus during the most recent International Roadcheck event conducted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. Roughly 33,000 such violations were issued during the event in 2017. According to safety advocates, drivers in North Carolina may not be as effective behind the wheel if they are tired.

Electronic monitoring will make it easier to determine if a driver is in compliance with hours limits. If a driver is found to be in violation of those limits, he or she will be required to stop and rest. Other penalties such as a fine could be levied. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, there were 157 fatal accidents caused by impaired drivers in 2016. Of those 157 crashes, 70 were caused by drivers who were tired or had fallen asleep.

That is a concern for authorities and those in the industry as there are expected to be more commercial drivers on the road in coming years. In Iowa, for example, large truck traffic is expected to grow 60 percent by 2040. Large truck traffic in the state has already increased by 123 percent in the past 30 years.

Motorists could be a danger to themselves and others if they drive while tired. Those who are victims of truck accidents caused by drowsy or sleeping drivers could be entitled to compensation. An attorney may ask to see a driver's log book to determine if they should have been resting when an accident occurred. Driver statements could also be used as evidence in settlement talks or during a personal injury trial.

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