Commercial truck accidents are some of the most serious imaginable, leaving the occupants of passenger vehicles with catastrophic injuries or killing them outright. What’s even worse is that commercial truck drivers tend to be the most vulnerable to drowsiness behind the wheel. New Jersey motorists have good reason to be wary around large trucks, as the following will show.
There are at least 100,000 accidents every year in the U.S. due to drowsy driving. No exact number can be given since drowsiness is hard to determine as a cause after an accident. Fatigue impairs drivers’ judgment, cognition, sense of distance and reaction times. When drivers fall asleep, they can drift off the road or collide with vehicles or pedestrians.
Truckers work long shifts. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration allows them to drive for a maximum of 14 consecutive hours, and this only after a mandatory 10-hour rest period. However, strict deadlines and pressure from employers, as well as the offering of incentives, lead truckers to violate these hours-of-service regulations and work overtime.When truckers need to meet deadlines, they will not pull over for a nap like other drivers could. In addition, they may unwisely assume that they will still pay attention to the road.
No solution exists for drowsy driving except a good night’s sleep. When truckers choose to be negligent and cause an accident because of it, their company will be liable for any injuries and vehicle damage incurred by the other side. Victims will want to hire a lawyer who focuses on truck accident law; that way, they can have a team of professionals working on their case. The lawyer can then negotiate for a settlement, avoiding a courtroom trial unless it becomes absolutely necessary.