Trucks are extremely important modes of transportation for commerce throughout the country. Fleets of trucks are employed by companies to transport goods across long distances. What we might not consider though, is that when these trucks are traveling long distances and at high speeds on our highways and interstates, an accident can cause quite a bit of damage and mess and require serious clean-up to make the roads useable and safe again. Not only are trucks large vehicles that are massive in size and can cause serious damage and the potential for injuries when involved in a truck accident, but spilled cargo can complicate things, too.
According to one recent article by ABC, a truck accident caused a large spill of ramen noodles that blocked off Interstate 95. According to the highway patrol, a driver of a tractor-trailer fell asleep at the wheel and crashed, spilling the cargo of the truck across the road. The driver was quoted as saying how he thought he would be able to make it to a truck stop, but ended up dozing off, and the next thing he knew he had taken out the guard rail on the road. The truck hit a bridge and then broke apart, splitting in half. Thankfully, no one was injured in this accident.
According to the Department of Transportation, more than 30,000 people die every year on the nation’s highways. This number could be reduced through combatting driver fatigue; if more drivers do not get behind the wheel when too tired to drive, many lives could be saved. While many truck drivers use caution and drive responsibly, there are many drivers and companies who push the limits for how many hours straight they put in on their routes. When they do so, they put others at serious risk. Approximately 4,000 people die in truck accidents every year nationwide, and driver fatigue is one of the leading factors for these accidents. In conducting a study, the Department of Transportation found that long work hours without sufficient recovery time lead to reduced sleep and chronic fatigue. This leads drivers to have slower reaction times and reduced ability to assess situations on the road. Fatigue can also quickly sneak up on drivers, as demonstrated in the above accident.
Truck driver fatigue is a serious issue and impacts the overall safety of our roads. Where a truck driver recognizes that he or she is too tired to stay awake on the roads and chooses to drive anyway, that driver has acted negligently and recklessly, and may be held liable in court if their actions have caused injuries to other parties on the road. If you or someone you love has been injured from truck driver negligence, it is important that you know your rights. Contact us for a free consultation, and we would be happy to discuss your legal options with you.