A tractor-trailer accident in Santo earlier this week could possibly have been caused because one of the drivers fell asleep at the wheel.
The truck accident which left two people injured occurred on Interstate 20 on Thursday, when a tractor-trailer veered left and into a median. The truck driver then overcorrected, and came to rest on the westbound lanes. Another truck approaching the scene, tried to avoid the first tractor-trailer, but ended up striking the first truck. Both drivers were injured in the accident.
Texas Department of Public Safety officers believe that the accident occurred because the first truck driver fell asleep at the wheel.
Fatigue is a major contributing factor in truck accidents, and has been the result of some recent public debate. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is currently in the process of reviewing the Hours of Service rules for truckers in order to alleviate the problem of fatigue and tired truckers dozing off at the wheel. A tired truck driver is a major risk not just to his safety, but also to other motorists.
There are a number of reasons why a truck driver may continue to drive even if he is drowsy. Trucking can be an extremely stressful job, and the pressure on truckers to make the next delivery as quickly as possible, never stops. Besides, a shoddy network of truck rest areas and truck stops around Texas means that very often, truck drivers don’t have access to a safe and convenient place to park their vehicle, and rest. One piece of legislation entitled Jason’s Law which has been introduced in Congress, provides for expansion of truck rest area facilities nationwide. However, the bill is stuck in committees. If passed, the bill could help create more rest areas for tired truckers, and unless Texas truck accident lawyers and truck safety groups lobby to energize the bill again, it could be a lost cause.
When it comes to truck driver fatigue, the situation is familiar – everyone knows there’s a problem and knows what can be done to fix the problem, but there is a severe lack of will to do so. In the meantime, truckers can avoid driver fatigue by avoiding high calorie, fatty foods before driving, and making realistic driving plans that don’t require them to drive for long periods without a break. When you do get some rest, get as much sleep as possible. Try to take a break every two hours, and drink coffee whenever you can.