Transportation safety – on roadways and highways in New Mexico and throughout the country is a concern to most Americans. When truck collisions occur, the results often include serious injuries and fatalities, many times the fault of a negligent truck driver or the company that hires them, with drivers forced to work excessive hours with little rest in order to make strict deadlines, and increase profits.
A recent study released examined the impact of fatigue on all transportation accidents, including truck collisions and revealed some startling statistics. The report concluded, “It’s impossible to say how many accidents are caused by operators who are just too tired to do their jobs … fatigue is frequently cited by investigators as a factor in accidents in the air, on the water and on railways and highways.”
Although the National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) does not track fatigue-related highway accidents on a regular basis, investigators studying the effect of drug and alcohol on trucking accident determined that fatigue was a bigger problem than drug or alcohol impairment, with 30 to 40 percent of all accidents fatigue related. Further, because drivers and paid by the mile, attractive financial incentives exist to “drive as far and as fast as you can.” Recent efforts in New Mexico and throughout the country have been stepped up targeting commercial drivers – and their employers to pay attention to this dangerous – often fatal issue.