Drowsy Driving and Trucking Accidents
According to federal statistics and a myriad of recent headlines in national publications, drowsy driving is a big problem on roads in Texas and the rest of America. The risks of falling asleep at the wheel could hardly be more obvious - yet American drivers apparently doze off on a regular basis. Between 2000 and 2010, more than 11,000 people died in fatigue-related crashes.
While drowsiness is a danger in any motor vehicle context, truckers may be a particularly serious problem. For starters, trucks are much more dangerous for other motorists. The size and weight of trucks make them simultaneously harder to control and much more deadly in a crash.
Beyond the obvious mismatch between cars and trucks, the trucking industry traditionally encouraged drivers to put in extremely long hours on the road. Truck companies paid premium bonus sums to drivers who could finish their routes the fastest. This often meant that drivers did without sleep and rest breaks - putting them at serious risk of falling asleep while driving and causing a serious trucking accident.
Although regulations and industry best practices now require drivers to take breaks, many companies still encourage their truckers to take unnecessary risks. The consequences for Texas motorists can be tragic.
Source: ABC News, "Drowsy Driving Remains an Elusive Highway Dilemma," Frank Eltman, May 11, 2013