North Carolina police are likely to charge a Kinston, N.C., resident with reckless driving after he dozed off then drove off the road in his semi truck late last month. The case is likely to reignite the debate over mandatory rest periods, the maximum time semi truck drivers should be permitted to drive and the oversight process for making sure semi trucks are operating safely on the interstate and other highway systems.
According to N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper R.C. Riley, the 52-year-old operator of the truck, one David Jarman, was not seriously injured in the impact. Quite luckily, he struck no one else with his vehicle as he went off the road, and suffered only a few cuts and bruises himself from the impact with terrain alongside the highway before going into the highway ditch.
The truck was apparently empty at the time of the accident. Jarman was reportedly on his way to pick up a new batch of cargo for another run when he fell asleep. It was unclear from current reports how long Jarman had been awake at the time of the semi truck accident. Jarman refused transportation to a nearby medical facility, Lenoir Medical Hospital, when paramedics offered. Instead he was checked out on the scene and declared to be in no medical danger from his minor injuries.
As said before, officer Riley has stated he will likely charge Jarman with reckless driving. The accident shut down U.S. Highway 70 for about half an hour while a wrecker was called to remove the semi truck from the embankment on the side of the road.
There have been numerous debates in recent years about the number of hours truckers drive between rest, with many attempts at passing legislation requiring companies to limit the number of hours their drivers are on the road in the name of protecting the safety of other drivers.