Most of us are familiar with the symptoms of fatigue. Whenever we keep ourselves going without sufficient sleep, we start to lose our edge. Our reflexes slow, we start to make errors and we may even begin to nod off. While fatigue may be unpleasant, most of us can safely get things done until we are able to get to bed.
However, some people have jobs that demand full alertness while on duty. Driving a truck is a job that requires being constantly mentally alert to the conditions of the road.
To help make sure they get the rest they need, drivers are required to follow regulations enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. For example, a driver must take at least one 30 minute break at some point during the first eight hours of his or her shift. Additionally, truck drivers may not drive more than 70 hours per week.
Given the grueling schedules truck drivers often work, it is imperative that they take their breaks and not exceed the allowed number of hours behind the wheel. A truck driver who fails to come to a halt or drifts into another lane due to fatigue could cause a very serious accident. And because tractor-trailers are such large, powerful vehicles, the damage done in a collision could be extreme.
Victims of truck accidents may suffer catastrophic injuries and require expensive, long-term treatment. If you or a family member are injured in a truck accident, a Pennsylvania personal injury attorney may be able to represent your interests when seeking compensation. The attorney could perform an investigation to determine if the accident was due to truck driver fatigue or any other cause for which the driver or the driver’s employer may be liable.