The residents of Berks County often have to share the area's roads with semi-truck and other large commercial vehicles. While what these vehicles do for both the local and national economies are important, the importance of their work does not change the obligation of the drivers of these vehicles, and their employers, to ensure that they keep the roadways safe for those traveling around them.
In this respect, a significant problem with the commercial transportation industry is truck driver fatigue. Although in many cases, there are rules in place that prevent drivers form traveling too long without stopping for a sleep, there is also a lot of pressure on drivers to get deliveries done on or ahead of schedule, and this pressure can lead to being tempted to skirt around the rules.
It is difficult to get an exact number of crashes related to drowsy driving simply because in many cases, other factors may be involved. For instance, what really was a drowsy driving incident may be described in a police report as "inattentiveness," or "failing to stop or yield," since one of the symptoms of trucker fatigue is an inability to pay attention and slowed reaction times.
One study suggested that there may be up to 1.2 million crashes related to drowsy driving per year, with 8,000 deaths being the end result. All the results available did not break down how many of these incidents involved large trucks, but surely some of these could be attributable to fatigued truck driving.
The best way for a trucker to avoid fatigue while driving is simply getting enough sleep and treating any medical conditions that cause fatigue, such as sleep apnea. Simply rolling down the windows and filling up with caffeine is not an adequate long term treatment.
A Berks County resident who has been injured in a truck accident and who suspects the driver of the truck was too tired too drive may be entitled to compensation. An experienced attorney could assist in recovery and guide an accident victim on how to collect evidence and protect their rights.