A New Hampshire man was slapped with a summons for drowsy driving after the tractor-trailer he was driving along Interstate 95 ran off the roadway and struck several trees along the eastern shoulder. The accident occurred around 1:35 a.m. on July 4.
Douglas Boles, 59, was officially issued a summons for fatigued operation under the federal motor carrier safety regulations. He was driving a 2015 Freightliner that was hauling a 53-foot box trailer.
The accident caused one of the truck’s fuel tanks to rupture, spilling about 70 gallons on the road and requiring cleanup by the State Department of Environmental Services. I-95 was closed for about five hours while the tractor and trailer were recovered.
Boles was transported to the hospital but reportedly did not suffer any significant injuries.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), at least 100,000 police-reported traffic accidents are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,00 injuries and $12.5 billion in monetary losses. However, these numbers are considered to be just the tip of the iceberg since it is difficult to attribute crashes to sleepiness.
Drivers of commercial trucks may be at greater risk for driving fatigued for various reasons including sleep inertia, and suffering impairment in areas such as short-term memory, vigilance, cognitive functioning, reaction time and ability to resist sleep. The Large Truck Crash Causation Study found that 13 percent of commercial motor vehicle drivers were considered to have been fatigued at the time of their crash.