Oftentimes drivers choose to keep on trucking, or driving if you will, rather than get some much needed shut-eye so that they can get a job done and, ultimately, get paid. One of the major causes of truck-related accidents is fatigued drivers. When drivers are so focused on getting as many hours on the road as possible instead of safe driving, everyone on the road is put at risk.
Recently, a court ruling in Arkansas has made it required by law that all trucking companies pay for every hour a driver spends on the job. That includes rest stops, food breaks, refueling and more. This is huge for drivers everywhere, nationwide. The fact that this is only a recent law is shocking. With the amount of fatigued driver-caused accidents we experience each year, it’s a no brainer that drivers need to be compensated in order to properly prepare themselves for a long haul on the road. That’s not to say that drivers are being stubborn for requiring pay to be safe drivers, necessarily, but it’s only natural for someone to want to finish a job as efficiently as possible to get paid. Now, with the recent law in Arkansas, we hope to see fewer accidents from restless drivers.
We can only hope that this law extends to the rest of the United States, ensuring safety and well-being for both truck drivers and fellow drivers. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that roughly 100,000 truck-related accidents each year are all caused by drowsiness in truck drivers. This is an astronomical number. With new laws, such as the one implemented in Arkansas, there is a great possibility to lower this number, and hopefully someday, rid of it altogether.
If you are driving and you notice an unsafe driver – whether it be swerving, seeming to be drunk or recklessness – notify the police immediately. Even if it doesn’t seem to pose an immediate danger to you, the behavior may worsen. When faced with the opportunity to potentially save a life, do the right thing and report erratic driving behavior. If you happen to notice a driver is texting or distracted, also notify authorities. Most truck drivers do not get compensation for rest and nourishment. They push themselves to drive as long as possible. If you can prevent a fatigued driver from getting on or continuing on the road, please do so. There is no harm in reporting a driver. If they are all set and safe to drive, the reporting officer will send them on their way.
If you or a loved one does end up in an accident with a big-rig or semi-truck, contact the offices of Buckingham & Vega for guidance. We have assisted clients with a wide range of truck-related incidents, from crashes and collisions to rollover and jackknifing accidents. We put families first and do everything in our power to fight for your rights and to seek justice for you and your family. Call us today for a free consultation.