Tired drivers are dangerous drivers. Their ability to quickly react to changing road conditions can be seriously compromised, increasing the chances that they will cause a serious car accident. Unfortunately, when these accidents involve semi-trucks, the results can be horrific, leaving victims with extensive damages that can be challenging, if not impossible, to overcome.
The good news is that federal regulations seek to prevent tired truckers from taking to the road. Yet, these regulations are far from perfect. To start, regulations can help deter bad actors, but it can't truly stop someone who decides to go against those regulations. Second, there are a number of loopholes in the regulations that could leave innocent motorists susceptible to being involved in an accident caused by fatigued driving.
For example, sleep apnea is not a condition specifically regulated by the government. This medical condition interrupts an individual's breathing while he or she sleeps, causing him or her to wake as many as 400 times a night. This, in turn, can cause a trucker to climb behind the wheel with little if any amount of quality sleep. These truckers can have decreased reaction times, diminished attentiveness and poor decision-making capabilities. Federal regulations do say that truckers cannot take to the road when their medical condition interferes with their driving capabilities, but that does nothing for those who are harmed in a truck accident caused by a tired driver.
Victims of truck accidents can face years, decades and even a lifetime of negative consequences. They may have extensive physical pain, permanent disability, disfigurement, emotional suffering and serious financial losses on account of incurred and expected medical expenses and lost wages. Those facing these losses should do everything they can to make the situation as right as possible. By pursuing legal action, these victims may be able to do so by imposing liability and recovering compensation.