Deadly Danger of Fatigued Truck Drivers
When you head out on the highway, you share the road with many commercial trucks that can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. These giant vehicles require truck drivers with specialized training and commercial licenses, but mistakes still can be made. Some of the deadliest mistakes occur when truck drivers are fatigued, which can lead to serious injury and fatality accidents.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), there were over 5,000 fatalities and 127,000 injuries in large truck and bus accidents in 2019. When large truck accidents occur that involve other vehicles, it is the occupants in those vehicles who are at highest risk for injury or death. While weather, equipment and other non-driver factors can contribute to these accidents, many are directly related to driver errors. Approximately 32.9% of the fatalities caused by large trucks in 2019 had driver-related factors recorded, many which may be due to fatigued truck drivers.
Long Hours Can Lead to Deadly Mistakes
Long haul truck drivers are often driving the largest vehicles on the road. They are also behind the wheel longer and are at the highest risk of becoming fatigued. While there are federal regulations on how long drivers can drive each day and how long they must stop to rest, this does not stop drivers from becoming fatigued. Some of the deadly mistakes that are made when drivers are fatigued include:
- Overloading or improperly loading vehicles (tip over or falling debris accidents)
- Improper lane changes
- Following improperly
Distracted and impaired (including fatigue) truck drivers accounted for 10% of the fatality accidents in 2019. The tragedy is that most of these fatalities could have been prevented if the truck driver would have been alert and cautious. Negligence by way of driver fatigue is the key factor in many large truck injury and fatality accidents.
Cost of Truck Driver Fatigue
When a fatigued truck driver causes a serious injury or fatal accident, it is often pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists and passenger vehicle occupants that are the victims. When a truck tips over due to overloading or a driver swerves into another lane due to fatigue, it can change the life of anyone in their way. Not only is the driver at fault, the company they work for may also be liable for any injuries or loss of life they caused.
Truck accident lawsuits are much more complex than auto accidents involving only passenger vehicles. A fatigued driver may have been pushed to continue working by their employer, even though they were not safe to be behind the wheel. All the different factors involved need to be investigated to determine who is liable – these cases can have multiple entities that are involved, from the driver and trucking company to various insurance companies.
When a family loses a loved one or a person is seriously injured in a large truck accident, they may incur many expenses. Commercial truck injury and fatality accident lawsuits can pursue compensation for medical costs, lost wages, pain/suffering and other expenses. While no amount of money can undo the damage caused by fatigued truck driver accidents, it can relieve the financial burden for the victim or their family.
At the Law Office of Dwayne L. Brown, we have helped many of our clients pursue compensation due to serious injury or death caused by commercial truck accidents. If you or a loved one has been a victim of a truck accident caused by a fatigued, distracted or impaired driver, contact us for a free legal consultation. Call our office in Atlanta, GA or Montgomery, AL today to schedule your consultation.
Posted on Behalf of Law Office of Dwayne L. Brown
Disclaimer: Our staff at the Law Office of Dwayne L. Brown have worked hard to become valued members of the Georgia business community. We write accident news stories with the intent and purpose of bringing awareness to the dangers of driving in our community with hopes that our fellow community members will use added precautions when operating a motor vehicle and avoid being seriously injured in an Alabama accident. This post is not intended to be a solicitation for business. The information provided in this post is not meant to be legal advice or medical advice. The picture used in this post is not representative of the accident described in this post.