An accident with a tractor trailer truck most often ends up causing catastrophic if not fatal injuries. Driver fatigue is a major factor in the thousands of trucking accidents that occur in and around Georgia as well as around the country ever year. To combat this, it is crucial that truckers get a chance to rest and get refreshed during their workday, and trucking groups are now calling for rest facilities to be expanded.
President Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure package allocates millions of dollars for transportation spending. Trucking groups as well as driver advocates are calling on the administration to use some of that money and invest it in the expansion of truck stops for drivers. Truck drivers often drive long distances that they are expected to travel all alone. That can increase the risk of fatigue and tiredness. Besides, truck drivers are mandated to drive only for a fixed number of hours before they are required to rest. The problem is that appropriate rest facilities are hard to find. You can hardly park a massive 80,000- pound tractor trailer by the side of the road. Designated truck stops have not just parking facilities where truckers can park their vehicles for a few hours while they sleep, but also offer food, refreshments and other facilities.
The American Trucking Associations and the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association are calling on Transportation head Pete Buttigieg to allocate funds for the expansion of these facilities around the country. They claim that as many as 98 percent of truck drivers find it hard to find a good truck stop or rest area for them to rest before they commence driving. They say they spend almost an hour away or more trying to find safe spots, instead of resting.
While the federal administration has known of this problem for a while and previous bills have tried to tackle this problem, nothing concrete seems to have come out of these efforts. For instance, in 2012, Jason’s law was passed to honor a truck driver who was murdered as he parked his truck at an abandoned gas station. Jason’s law required federal agencies and groups like the American Association of State Highway and Transportation officials to study the issue and find solutions. Last July, a provision that would increase trucking rest spaces was added to the transportation bill, but that bill didn’t pass.
Tired, fatigued, stressed drivers are a risk to motorists on our highways as well as to the truck drivers. A driver who is sleepy or driving while drowsy is more prone to making the kind of human errors that can cause a potentially catastrophic accident. The federal administration needs to finally tackle this problem now that funds have been allocated for transportation, and increase truck rest stop facilities.
The Atlanta truck accident lawyers at the Katz Personal Injury Lawyers represent persons injured as a result of trucking accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia. If you or a loved one have been injured in a trucking accident, talk to a trucking accident lawyer at our firm and discuss your legal rights to a claim for damages. There might be more than one party that can be held liable in your claim. Schedule a consultation at our firm and discuss your case.