Truck drivers in New Jersey spend many hours on the road hauling goods to and from locations. Not only do they want to stay moving, but their contracting employers want them moving as well. And this is not to mention company drivers. There are rules and regulations that impose limitations on operating hours, but many shipping companies and drivers regularly stretch the hours to the limit.
Additionally, there are also limits on monthly hours that get skirted as well due to a variety of factors such as a shortage of qualified drivers. The totality of the situation is such that drivers commonly drive fatigued trying to make delivery times ahead of schedule, which in turn results in a high number of truck accidents.
Fatigued driving can happen at any time
Fatigued driving truck accidents can happen anywhere regardless of the time of day. Operators keep irregular hours because the limits do not comport to a regular schedule, and they can operate up to 14 hours continuously often following minimal rest periods. Inclement weather can also be a problem for many, and especially in the winter when they are navigating slick roads after a long driving shift. Standard drivers should always be aware of this situation when driving in congested traffic.
Impact on personal injury claims
While not all commercial vehicle accidents are the fault of the truck operator, evidence that suggests they were at the end of a long shift at the time or they were close to the limit on monthly hours could enhance their comparative negligence percentage when the case is evaluated in court. Trucking companies and their drivers are required to carry significantly higher liability insurance amounts, which means that accidents involving trucks can be much more valuable than others when the trucker is primarily at fault.