With the number of trucks on the road in Florida there is a consistent danger that a crash involving one will occur. There can be many reasons for this, but one that should be preventable is the accident occurring because the driver is too drowsy to be on the road. Drivers are supposed to write down or electronically record their time spent driving and resting in a trucking log. However, there is still an issue with truck drivers falling asleep.
Several drivers have related stories in which they have fallen asleep while operating their trucks. While they might have been following federal trucking regulations and not caused serious injuries in an accident there is still a looming danger of an incident leading to injuries and death. One man had driven for 11 hours the previous day and the next day ran a stop sign ending up in a ditch. He was uninjured, but he or someone else could have been. This was a small incident compared to others that have been in the news.
The number of deaths involving large trucks in the U.S. has declined for the last two decades, but the average number of fatalities for the decade from 2003 to 2013 remains at around 4,300 annually. One-third were due to a truck driver falling asleep while driving. New instruments are being created to try and stop this. Phone apps can issue warnings and technology from truck companies that keep track of speed and will automatically brake if the driver falls asleep. Truckers say that these innovations are not as effective as the companies believe they are because they only work with cruise control.
The main issue is that drivers will inevitably get tired when driving long distances. Add in that a truck company will often exert pressure on employees to get their deliveries to its destination as quickly as possible and there is a possibility for a crash. Those who see these large vehicles and have to share the road with them need to be aware of the possibility that an accident will occur.
Having legal help after a truck accident can help with an investigation to determine if the driver violated federal trucking regulations or was simply falling asleep at the wheel. This can be beneficial in pursuing a legal claim to be compensated.
Source: motherboard.vice.com, “Despite Plenty of Anti-Sleep Gadgets, Truckers Still Fall Asleep at the Wheel,” Joseph Jaafari, Jan. 20, 2016