Fortunately no one was injured when the driver of an 18-wheeler mail truck fell asleep on I-75 near Macon at 3:30 AM, over-corrected when he woke with a start, and went over an embankment.  However, two of three northbound lanes were closed several hours and the GA DOT will have to replace a guard rail.  All too often we see such incidents result in serious injuries including fatalities. 

 49 C.F.R § 392.3 provides:

No driver shall operate a motor vehicle, and a commercial motor carrier shall not require or permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle, while the driver’s ability or alertness is so impaired, or so likely to become impaired, through fatigue, illness, or any other cause, as to make it unsafe for him/her to begin or continue to operate the commercial motor vehicle.

49 C.F.R. § 390.13 requires that " No person shall aid, abet, encourage, or require a motor carrier or  its employees to violate the rules of this chapter."

49 C.F.R. § 395.3 spells out the hours of services rules, which I won’t repeat here.

However, we also see retired FMCSA officials, who have gone through the "revolving door" to serve as shills for the businesses they used to regulate,  coming in to testify as expert witnesses for the defense, claiming that the fatigue and hours of service regulations don’t mean what they say and that the official Regulatory Guidance published by the FMCSA has no significance.  I spent an afternoon recently deposing one of those guys in another state.  It’s amazing what former regulators will say in order to profit from their former government positions.  But even a greased pig can be caught in time.

The Shigley Law Firm  represents plaintiffs in wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases statewide in Georgia, and in other states subject to the multijurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules in each state. Ken Shigley was designated as a "SuperLawyer" in Atlanta Magazine and one of the "Legal Elite" in Georgia Trend Magazine. He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute and former chair of the Georgia Insurance Law Institute. He particularly focuses on cases arising from truck wrecks and accidents (tractor trailers truck wrecks, semi truck wrecks,18 wheeler truck wrecks, big rig truck wrecks, log truck wrecks, dump truck wrecks.