For many years, the government has regulated the number of hours that truckers are allowed to drive, in an effort to keep tired truckers from being behind the wheel of large trucks. Recently, these rules were changed to let truckers drive up to 11 hours straight, without a rest, and up to a maximum of 80 hours per week.
As many as 13% of crashes involving large trucks list driver fatigue as a factor, with 4,000 people a year being killed and 100,000 getting injured in such crashes. A record number of truckers admit to driving while tired and even to falling asleep while driving.
Despite these statistics, challenges to the new rules by a coalition of safety organizations were rejected by the courts. The negative effect of the new rules on highway safety is easy to imagine.