A weary truck driver has the potential to wreak havoc on a North Carolina highway. Accidents caused by fatigued drivers can be some of the most serious because there is little or no time to respond or correct course for a driver who has dozed off. The size of a semi truck is another serious matter, especially when traveling at a high rate of speed. Serious incidents have caused officials to look for better ways to moderate driver rest periods, but some of these efforts can be flawed.
A federal regulation addresses impaired driving that could be related to illness, fatigue or other issues. Unfortunately, officials’ efforts to prevent commercial vehicle accidents by monitoring driver activities or conditions have backfired at times. For example, police in Minnesota created a checklist in 2011 to identify potential driver fatigue. There have been numerous challenges connected to this list because of drivers’ Fourth Amendment rights, and the number of violations connected to the regulation has decreased significantly.
Advanced vehicle safety technologies are being explored for their potential benefit in preventing accidents involving large commercial vehicles. Options such as eyelid tracking and automated braking could be helpful. Warning systems for drifting drivers could also be helpful, but a warning could be useless for a driver who has fallen asleep. Meanwhile, there has been continued debate over the benefit of out-of-service periods for drivers because there is no way to regulate the amount or quality of rest an individual will experience when off duty.
Truck accidents can occur because of many reasons, including driver fatigue, driver error, recklessness or road conditions. If a truck driver is responsible for an accident, injured victims could seek compensation for medical expenses and lost wages through a civil lawsuit filed with the assistance of counsel.