The roads of Nashville are often permeated by large trucks. These vehicles are important because they transfer goods throughout the state and across the country. In addition, truckers are, for the most part, hard-working people who follow the law and adhere to the rules set out to promote safety for themselves and everyone they encounter on the road. However, there are instances in which drivers will be on the road in violation of federal trucking regulations and be too tired to drive safely. If companies are exerting pressure on drivers to violate the law, there are increased risks for the drivers and everyone else.
Truckers are coming forward and stating that their companies are trying to make certain the loads that are carried will arrive on time. These deadlines often lead to drivers being pressed into operating their vehicles without sufficient rest. Federal trucking regulations are in place to mandate the amount of time drivers are supposed to spend off the road, but if there is an underlying threat from the employer that the driver won't be paid when resting and there is a need to get the deliveries to the destination in a narrow time frame, safety and legality are sacrificed.
Log books are utilized to ensure drivers adhere to the rules, but if the log book is still kept by hand, there is the possibility that a driver will falsify it to satisfy an employer and drive more than is legally allowed. The dangers of an 18-wheeler accident are obvious. Given the size of these trucks and the comparatively small cars they're sharing the road with, any crash can result in serious injuries and death.
People who see trucks on the road might not think twice because they believe that the drivers are well-trained and safety conscious. But pressures and finances from their employers can cause them to flout proper procedures and drive while fatigued. If there is a crash and it is believed that it happened due to truck driver fatigue, those who were affected by it need to understand their rights and discuss the matter with a qualified legal professional.
Source: ABCnews.go.com, "The Danger of Forcing Truck Drivers to Drive Sleep-Deprived Exposed," Joseph Rhee and Alexa Valiente, Sept. 18, 2014