Semi-truck drivers are often driving cross country with little to no sleep and rest. Why? It may be the result of trucking companies guilty of rigging incentives to promote illegal amounts of non-stop transportation of goods. The endless carrot chase has many drivers sacrificing valuable sleep, while endangering the lives of small vehicle drivers. When roadway accidents occur it carries serious legal consequences along with the overall trauma of the accident.
Safety violations cause vehicle wreckage, injuries and sometimes death when truckers and their companies provoke extreme driving distances without breaks. Unfortunately, this problem is not easy to solve. For many truck drivers, it can be difficult to escape the work-debt trap.
Many drivers forced into debt
According to an investigative study by USA Today, reporters found many trucking companies enforce agreements by their drivers to take on debt that is almost impossible to re-pay. This comes in the form of a rent-to-own agreements pertaining to big rig vehicles. If drivers push themselves to work long and hard enough, they are convinced they can own their trucks someday. However, many drivers end up breaking the laws outlined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCA) as a result.
Sleep deprivation costs lives and sparks legal disputes
Trucking companies may knowingly dispatch drivers that lack sleep for an unbearable amount of trucking hours. Sometimes shifts last as much as 20 hours with back to back days on end. Sleep deprived truck drivers may experience hallucinations and complete loss of consciousness under such poor physical abilities to keep up with schedule demands.
An extreme amount of driving overtime has been a perpetual issue related to fatal car-truck accidents. Drivers and passengers sharing the road are at constant risk of becoming crash victims due to an overworked trucker.
Despite this unfortunate reality, there is hope through legal action. Accident victims should let their voices be heard when a trucking company and its driver commit safety violations. This may be the only way justice and compensation are secured.
Stay aware of semi-trucks operating around you and the laws created to protect you should a sleepy truck driver cause harm and injury to you and your vehicle.