A tractor trailer overturned on westbound I-78 in Bethlehem Twp, NJ at approximately 1:00 am on July 18, 2012, when the driver reportedly fell asleep at the wheel.  The reason the driver fell asleep has not been disclosed.  For more information on this accident, and to view pictures from the accident, click here.

Fortunately, the only negative consequences of this particular accident for the truck driver’s fellow motorists appears to be the inconvenience of the traffic tie up caused by his conduct.   However, the accident serves to highlight the risks which driving while fatigued present to all of us on the roadways.  Drivers of tractor trailers are supposed to honor rigorous limits on the number of hours they are permitted to drive without taking specified rest breaks.  This is known in the industry as the “hours in service” rule.  Unfortunately, it is regularly violated.  The result: crashes like this one, often resulting in terrible accidents and catastrophic injuries.