Truck Driver Fatigue and Accidents
Like many people, I happened to be traveling with family on July 5th. In my case, I was heading to New York with my sister, niece and nephew. Right before we left my driveway, I turned on 1060 (a talk radio station in Philadelphia) and learned that 95 was closed. Since I had planned on taking 95 from Philadelphia, I needed to figure a new route. We took the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
At any rate, as we drove we listened to the radio and learned that the cause of the accident involved a truck driver who fell asleep at the wheel. The driver, “collided with a barrier near the off-ramp to interstate 476.” Two other cars were caught up in the crash. Charges will be filed against the truck driver. Fortunately, no one suffered life-threatening injuries. The truck’s fuel tank was damaged, which caused fuel to leak on the road. Traffic stopped for more than five hours.
Truck Driver Regulations
Truck drivers have a rough job. They are under a lot of pressure to get the goods to the right location on time. In order to help deal with this pressure, there are regulations controlling how long drivers can drive before they have to rest. The reason these regulations exist is because nearly 4,000 people die in truck-related accidents every year, and fatigue is a leading factor.
Obviously, we don’t know why the truck driver fell asleep. Maybe he had a long night after the holiday. Maybe he disobeyed the regulations. Or maybe he was just tired. The problem is, any time a driver falls asleep at the wheel, his vehicle goes from being a mode of transportation to a deadly accident waiting to happen. It is critical that those who are fatigued stay out of cars and trucks in order to decrease the chance of having an accident.