Truckers are oftentimes tasked with putting in long hours behind the wheel, regardless of weather conditions. Given the grueling nature of this kind of work, the federal government has implemented a number of regulations aimed to reducing drive time and ensuring trucker restfulness. Yet, as thorough as regulators are in this regard, there are still gaping holes in their protection scheme that leave other motorists at risk of being seriously injured in a truck accident.
How medical conditions affect driving ability
One overlooked aspect of trucker safety is medical conditions. While some serious medical conditions may bar a trucker from operating his or her rig, others don’t unless deemed to affect the trucker’s ability to safely drive his or her truck. The problem is that this appears to be an honor system, requiring trucker to disclose their condition and only then provide proof that they are medically cleared to drive.
This system is enormously dangerous. Just look at sleep apnea as an example. This condition results in breathing disruptions during sleep, which can cause a sufferer to wake up as many as 400 times in a single night. This causes extreme tiredness and fatigue, which can drastically reduce driving ability. Yet, federal regulators have yet to find a satisfactory way to ensure that sleep apnea sufferers are adequately treated before climbing behind the wheel of a semi-truck.
Hold negligent truckers and their employers accountable
Truck companies and their employees have a big responsibility. Not only are they tasked with transporting goods across the country in a timely manner, but they’re also required to ensure that trucking practices are safe for everyone on the road. When that latter duty is breached, serious injuries and long-lasting damages can result. That’s why those who have been injured in a truck accident owe it to themselves to take the legal action that is oftentimes necessary to find accountability and recover compensation.