The number of large truck accidents across America has increased and may be linked, in part, to truck driver fatigue.
Commercial trucks are a crucial part of the American economy. As the economy continues to improve, motorists in Tennessee and across the country can expect to see more of these massive vehicles on the road. With a rise in large truck numbers, however, comes an increase in devastating truck accidents. From truck driver fatigue and distraction, to truck equipment malfunction, large truck accidents are steadily increasing, killing and injuring innocent motorists in the process.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,802 people were killed in large truck accidents in 2012. Tennessee was home to 107 of those deaths, which marked an increase from 86 deaths in 2009. As the truck accident fatality rate continues to increase, people are becoming more aware of the dangers that commercial tractor trailers can bring.
Truck driver fatigue
America currently has a shortage of commercial truck drivers, according to the American Trucking Association, and the problem is expected to get worse, as reported by NBC News. In order to meet deadlines, some truck drivers and truck driving companies are tempted to violate federal trucking regulations, which were enacted to decrease truck accidents, injuries and fatalities caused by truck driver fatigue.
This may have been a contributing factor in a high-profile truck accident that took place in July. According to a criminal complaint filed in the matter, a commercial truck driver, who had been awake for nearly 24 hours, failed to slow down in traffic and crashed into a limousine carrying famed actor and comedian Tracy Morgan, as well as several other passengers. The accident seriously injured Morgan and killed his comedian friend Jimmy Mack. The truck driver who caused the catastrophic accident had been scheduled to pick up his truck at a location 700 miles away from his home. He had picked up the vehicle and was in the process of delivering the load when the collision occurred. Morgan and the other passengers have filed a third-party lawsuit against the trucking company for negligence in hiring, training and scheduling the truck driver.
Federal Hours of Service regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently revised their Hours of Service regulations in an attempt to decrease the number of large truck accidents that occur due to driver fatigue each year. The regulations limit large truck operators to 11 hours of driving time each day, and 70 hours behind the wheel each week. All drivers are required to take a short break within the first eight hours of their shift. Drivers who complete a full 70-hour work week must rest for 34 consecutive hours, which must include at least two nights between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
When to call an attorney
Involvement in commercial truck accident can be life-changing. Whether you or a loved one has experienced catastrophic injuries and disabilities as a result of the accident or you suffer from severe emotional trauma, it is essential to contact an established attorney. Not only can an attorney help you explore all of your legal options, but an attorney can also help you seek the compensation you deserve.
Keywords: truck, accident, injury