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December 22, 2015

Driver fatigue can make snow plows dangerous

Winter is here.

Massachusetts drivers are soon to be fighting dangerous road conditions. Depending on the severity of the snow, sleet, freezing rain and ice even a short errand can result in a devastating accident. Throughout the state, drivers rely on both government and privately owned vehicles to keep the roadways safe. Whether they are spreading salt, sand, chemicals or simply plowing snow from the roads, commuters trust these drivers to keep the roads clear.

But is that trust misplaced?

A recent news report highlighted the fact that this industry faces virtually no regulation in Massachusetts. Many states, such as Connecticut, enforce regulations centered on required rest periods or the maximum length of a shift. For example, it is not uncommon for snow plow drivers to work multiple eight-hour shifts consecutively when the need is great. Many states have a mandatory break period between shifts giving drivers a chance to rest, sleep and, at the very least, relax their eyes.

It’s a double-edged sword. When faced with several inches of snowfall, commuters welcome the appearance of an army of snow plows. Unfortunately, these dedicated drivers are their own worst enemy. They are charged with keeping the roads clean and safe and they will likely push through their own fatigue until the job is done.

However, while their intentions are noble, driver fatigue can be deadly. Drivers find their reactions slowed, their vision blurred and their ability to focus on driving impacted. Some drivers even report that they start hallucinating after long shifts. If you were injured in an accident or you see a snow plow driver driving erratically, it is wise to take action. Following an accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can provide the answers and guidance you need.

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