Trucks are a common sight on New Jersey roadways. These large vehicles can be intimidating to others on the road with the looming possibility of an accident. While some of the riskier factors that can cause motor vehicle accidents with trucks include drivers who are under the influence, behave recklessly or are distracted, an understated problem is truck driver fatigue.
The causes and potential consequences of drowsy truckers
To address truck driver fatigue, it is important to understand its causes and consequences. There are certain rules that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has in place, including a limit to the amount of time truckers can legally spend on the road. Truckers can drive for 11 consecutive hours after a 10-hour break. Even with that, they might be tired due to illness, medication, being under the influence or working an uneven schedule. Since truckers benefit from getting their loads to the destination as quickly as possible, there is an inevitable temptation to push the envelope.
Falling asleep behind the wheel is a danger, but there are other hazards linked to drowsy driving. Truckers’ attention can wane, and they could fail to see obstacles in the road. They might miss their exits or simply not slow down for congested traffic. Reflexes are dramatically reduced when a driver is fatigued. A fundamental part of driving is making rapid decisions in a split-second and that might be negatively impacted by drowsiness.
After a crash, drowsiness might have been a factor
Those who have been injured in a truck accident and are facing medical expenses, lost wages and life-changing challenges should consider their options. A key aspect of any investigation is determining how and why the collision occurred. Experienced attorneys may scrutinize the accident scene, check the trucker’s electronic log and examine the circumstances surrounding the crash. This can be crucial with all motor vehicle accidents, but it is especially important after a truck accident in which the driver might have been too drowsy to drive safely.