If you’ve ever been fatigued behind the wheel, you understand how easy it would be to cause an accident in such a situation. Fatigued driving can significantly alter a driver’s ability to safely operate his or her vehicle, and accidents can lead to serious harm for other motorists. This is especially the case when the accident involves a commercial vehicle, such as a large tractor trailer.
Under federal law, truck drivers and their employees are supposed to abide by various rules laid out in regulations which determine the length of drivers’ work days and work weeks. Regulations also spell out the frequency and length of rest breaks. All of this is aimed at addressing the problem of tired truck drivers who put other motorists at risk.
Fatigued driving is also a problem among ordinary motorists, and some states have passed laws attempting to address the issue. In Massachusetts, the only action taken has been to propose drowsy driving awareness efforts. More obviously needs to be done. Under legislation proposed by the National Sleep Foundation, a task for would be established to assess the current state of the problem in each state, including the effectiveness of current laws addressing the issue, and how to improve the situation.
It isn’t clear how much support the legislation will gain, since drowsy driving has proven to be an issue that isn’t of universal interest among lawmakers. Wherever things go with the proposal, those who are harmed by drowsy drivers deserve to be adequately compensated for their injuries and losses. In pursuing such litigation, working with an experienced attorney is important in order to ensure one’s rights are protected.
Source: Sleep Review, “Drowsy Driving Reduction Act Aims to Reduce Dangers on the Road,” September 10, 2014.