Operating a truck isn’t easy under the best of circumstances. Unfortunately, many drivers aren’t operating under the best circumstances. Many truckers drive through New Jersey when they are tired, overworked or fatigued. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, drowsy driving reduces attentiveness, slows down reaction times and impairs decision-making abilities. These factors are always dangerous when driving, but are even more dangerous when someone is driving a tractor-trailer weighing up to 80,000 lbs.
There is no excuse for a driver to operate a commercial vehicle on New Jersey roads when he or she is tired. Federal laws require trucks drivers and trucking companies to follow very strict rules concerning the amount of time a driver can work. There are limits on the amount of time a driver can work in a day and in a week. There are also mandatory breaks and required extended rest periods. The law forces drivers to keep a log of the hours they work so that inspectors can audit them.
Unfortunately, none of this stops fatigued driving among truck drivers. Drivers falsify their logs, skip breaks and even take drugs to stay awake for long periods. After an accident, your New Jersey truck wreck lawyer will examine these logs for inconstancies, revisions and falsifications.
Why do truckers take these risks and put so many lives in danger? Some reasons for this behavior include:
- Following orders. Sometimes trucking companies unlawfully require their drivers to work more hours than they should. They do this because loads need to arrive at a certain time, but also because a truck that isn’t moving isn’t making money.
- Economic incentives. Drivers typically get paid by the mile instead of receiving a salary. This means that they have a reason to keep going when they feel tired. Every extra mile they drive is money in their pocket.
- Driver shortages. There simply aren’t enough truck drivers in the United States to handle the amount of cargo that needs to be moved.
- Wanting to get home. Sometimes truck drivers have been away from their home and their family for weeks at a time. They know that if they keep driving when they are tired, they might get to spend the night with their husband, wife or kids.
These reasons simply don’t excuse putting others in danger. When truck drivers work too long and cause an accident, the Ridgewood truck accident lawyers at Seigel Law work hard to hold those drivers and their employers accountable. Our legal team is focused on getting justice for victims of 18-wheeler accidents and truck crashes. For a free initial consultation with a truck accident injury attorney, call us at 201.444.4000 or contact us online.