Semi-truck drivers are tasked with a big responsibility. Not only are they supposed to deliver goods across the country on tight timelines, but they’re also required to do so safely. Yet, the sad reality is that these truckers often cut corners, sometimes to appease their employers, which can result in serious truck accidents that leave other motorists with severe, sometime catastrophic injuries. While federal regulations try to curtail dangerous trucking practices, the truth of the matter is that they often don’t do enough.
Untreated sleep apnea poses a risk to motorists
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has a lot of regulations in place to curtail dangerous behavior. Yet, when it comes to medical conditions, the FMCSA seems lenient. Under the regulations, it typically only indicates that a trucker cannot operate a rig when he or she has a medical condition that renders him or her unable to do so safely. This essentially means that truckers and their employers have to be open and honest in these matters, which could affect their scheduling and their bottom lines.
But taking this approach is dangerous. Look at sleep apnea as an example. This medical condition causes breathing disruptions during sleep, thereby jolting the individual awake so that he or she can restart breathing. These disruptions can occur hundreds of times a night, leaving a trucker tired and fatigued. This tiredness and fatigue can affect nearly every aspect of his or her driving ability, including reaction time and critical thinking skills. The result is an increased risk of causing a devastating truck accident.
What can you do about it?
Unfortunately, if you or a loved one has been hurt in the truck accident, then all you can do is seek accountability and compensation while trying to shine a light on the importance of trucking safety. You’ll want to be detailed in your legal approach, though, which means gathering all of the evidence at your disposal, negotiating a favorable resolution, and perhaps aggressively litigating your case in court. If you want help building your case, then it might be time for you to speak with a personal injury attorney who will know how to fight for you.