The trucking industry has regulations about how much rest truckers are supposed to get between shifts. Usually that means that truckers are supposed to take a 10-hour break for every 14 hours of driving.
But research shows that drivers around ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach often violate those rules, raising questions about whether port trucking companies are skirting rules as a matter of course, fatiguing drivers and making dangerous drowsy-driver accidents more likely on California’s roads.
Fatigued drivers are impaired and are at risk for causing accidents no matter what vehicle they are driving. But when truck drivers are fatigued, they can cause enormous damage because of the size and mass of their vehicles. When fatigued truck drivers fall asleep at the wheel and slam into other vehicles or even pedestrians, where they don’t kill other people, they can cause serious injuries like broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, amputations and even death. When companies look the other way or even encourage these kinds of hours regulations, they put all drivers on the road at risk.
Truck crashes can be more complicated to litigate because there are often more layers of liability to navigate. That is, there may be multiple parties who are at fault, including the drivers themselves, the trucking companies, inspectors or even the truck manufacturer. The costs of these crashes can be staggering, too, because injuries are often quite severe. Those who have been injured because a trucking company pushed its drivers to work beyond the point of fatigue deserve the maximum justice the law will allow.