Last week in Pennsylvania, a woman and her daughter were hit by a truck when the truck driver behind them fell asleep at the wheel as they slowed to enter a construction zone.
The woman and her daughter suffered fatal injuries.
Driver fatigue is a major issue in trucking safety. One study showed that 13% of all trucking related crashes were caused in part by driver fatigue.
Regulations setting forth maximum driving times and minimum hours of rest have long been in place in the trucking industry. However, those regulations were recently modified to extend the number of consecutive hours a driver can be on the road and increasing their maximum work week. Critics say that has sacrificed the safety of other motorists on the road.
Another issue is compliance with the regulations. Many drivers feel that the regualtions unnecessarily interfere with their ability to get the job done and return to their families. Compliance with the regulations is monitored through a series of paper log books, but electronic monitoring has not been adopted yet.