Truck accidents and driver fatigue: accidents waiting to happen, accidents that can be avoided

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the US Department of Transportation, more than 750 people die each year and more than 20,000 are injured each year due to the fatigue of truck drivers operating commercial vehicles. Tired drivers are deadly drivers. Unfortunately, operating an 18-wheeler is generally a low-paying job and can lead to many truckers driving long hours to earn more money. Commercial trucking employers do not help the situation by imposing tight lead times on their truckers.

Lack of sleep can cause a trucker to fall asleep or drift into other lanes. Ineffective takedown, rollovers, and the knife are also typical results caused by fatigued and distracted truckers. Multi-vehicle accidents are not uncommon when a truck is involved. Truck operators themselves are exposed to these obvious dangers with nearly 600 commercial truck drivers dying each year in highway accidents.

All truckers are required to keep log books and they will generally be helpful in litigating a case and demonstrating liability based on driver fatigue. Black boxes as well as Electronic On-Board Recorders (EOBRs) can also be useful tools to reconstruct the events that led to the collision with a truck.

Truck accidents involve overlapping laws and regulations. Generally, a trucking accident lawsuit must be filed against a trucking company and the commercial truck driver. However, government agencies, truck mechanics and maintenance companies, truck manufacturers, and their insurance companies are also potential defendants and their involvement in an accident should be investigated before filing a lawsuit. In tractor-trailer collisions, a history of vehicle inspections and weigh station stops is always important and recognizable information. Recent road changes, such as requalification or new signage, can create liability for government agencies or subcontractors.

Passenger vehicle operators should obviously stay away from trucks as much as possible on the road. This means, for example, remembering that trucks have a shorter stopping distance than cars, so when changing lanes after passing a truck, car operators should be aware that an 18-wheeler will be approaching. quickly behind them. Be sure to see at least both of the trucker’s headlights in your rearview mirror before re-entering the lane. That said, the majority of truck accidents occur, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, on rural highways, in the middle of the day and on weekdays. Therefore, driving on the highway is not predominantly the most likely place for a car-truck collision.

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