Paying attention to traffic isn't easy for any New Jersey driver who is bored, overworked or tired. Driver inattentiveness is prevalent among people who drive for a living. Thirteen percent of all commercial vehicle operators involved in collisions were found to be fatigued, according to a study reported by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. A semi-truck accident can cause severe property and personal damage. A tired, distracted or intoxicated trucker isn't driving a vehicle as much as he is operating a heavily-loaded, high-speed weapon. FMCA recorded 60,000 injuries and 3,341 deaths in 273,000 large truck accidents nationwide in 2011. A co-founder of the Bergen Save the Watershed Action Network recently died in a multi-vehicle crash. The 53-year-old part-time Bard College professor was headed to work along a toll road when he was forced to slow down for a snowplow with mechanical problems. A tractor-trailer rear-ended the New Jersey man's vehicle, killing the scientist and injuring a half dozen other motorists. The victim and his long-time partner co-founded SWAN 30 years ago. SWAN's goal has been land preservation around reservoirs, but the scientist's interests stretched around the world. The environmentalist had completed a global warming study in Antarctica just before his death. An act of negligence can take very little time. Many drivers are in such a hurry to get where they want to go that they ignore fatigue and do nothing productive to regain alertness. A few seconds of distraction - hands off the wheel or eyes off the road -- may cause another person's permanent disability or forever deprive a family of a loved one's company. Violent truck accidents often injure many people simultaneously. The pain and suffering directly affects the injured parties but also includes relatives responsible for holding families together through a medical crisis or grief. Compensation for injuries caused by negligence is available through New Jersey civil claims. Source: The Record, "Bergen County environmental activist Mark Becker killed in crash on N.Y. Thruway" Jim Norman, Feb. 27, 2014