Life in the United States and across the world has come to a standstill due to the spread of coronavirus. While the economy has slowed down, it has not come to a complete halt. This is thanks to the many truck drivers who put their lives on the line to deliver vital goods across the country.
From medical supplies to household food, truck drivers work long hours to make sure Americans have what they need to survive. However, an increase in commercial trucks on the road has some safety advocates concerned. Will the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic lead to truck accidents?
Each year, truckers move more than 10 billion tons of freight across the country. They ensure that Americans have food, toiletries, general consumer products and medical supplies. Consider your life during a pandemic without those essential items. Now, more than 3.5 million professional truckers are driving through locked down communities, often with closed rest stops. However, they know their job is essential. After all, if truckers stop, the country stops.
The federal government knows this too. That is why they recently relaxed laws governing how long truckers can drive without rest breaks. Highway safety regulators suspended trucking rules that limit daily driving hours. Their hope is that relaxed rules allow commercial truck drivers to deliver critical goods to impacted communities. The change affects commercial drivers who are transporting goods related to coronavirus relief. Unfortunately, relaxed hours of services rules could also increase truck accidents.
Fatigued truck drivers pose a danger on the road. Commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds when fully loaded. When truckers are fatigued, they can cause fatal trucking accidents. In fact, fatigued driving is a major cause of truck accidents.
As the demand for household items and medical supplies skyrockets during the pandemic, trucking companies must deliver these goods quickly. They may push their drivers to drive too long or too far without sleep. Drivers may feel pressure to deliver their goods as soon as possible. This can cause them to drive without the recommended hours of sleep. When fatigue sets in, truckers may fall asleep behind the wheel or be unable to respond to emergency situations.
It is still too early to tell how coronavirus will affect the trucking industry and accident statistics. However, safety experts urge all drivers to remain vigilant and cautious on the road.
Truck drivers are also urged to sleep and rest even with relaxed legislation. Driving while fatigued is dangerous for everyone, but especially commercial truck drivers. In fact, sleep deprivation can mimic the effects of mild alcohol intoxication.
Truck accidents may lead to life-altering injuries or fatalities. Victims and their family members could be saddled with millions of dollars in expenses when truck drivers or trucking companies cut corners. However, there are legal options to hold these parties accountable for negligence.
We are a personal injury law firm in Denver, Colorado. You can learn more about potential legal options after a truck accident by exploring our website. For a free consultation with the Thornton truck accident attorneys at Dormer Harpring call (303) 747-4404 or use the contact form on our website.