Truck drivers play an integral role in commerce in the United States, hauling freight across the country for consumers to buy. These hauls may be foodstuffs or electronics, furniture or building materials. If you have purchased something in a local department store in your life, chances are it was hauled there by a trucker. These truck drivers have a difficult job, navigating roadways all over the nation in order to get their freight to its destination on time. Sometimes, some truck drivers choose to stay awake later than is prudent in an effort to make better time—but these fatigued drivers are more likely to make errors and could be at risk of falling asleep at the wheel. When this happens, all bets are off and major, multi-vehicle accidents can result, causing severe injuries or even death to anyone involved in the collision.
Falling asleep behind the wheel is arguably one of the most terrifying and dangerous outcomes of truck driver fatigue. However, this is not the only hazard that could happen when a trucker drives while tired. Judgment and reaction times decrease when a person is tired, and when that person is behind the wheel of a vehicle that weighs several tons, the potential outcome can be devastating, leading to catastrophic injury or death.
When a trucker opts to drive while fatigued over stopping to rest, they are engaging in negligent behavior. The desire to make better time overrides the desire to make sure that they are driving safely, and thus, they are putting everyone on the roads—as well as themselves—at risk by driving when fatigued. This means they are legally responsible for any damages to people or to property that may happen if their tiredness leads them to become involved in an accident. The failure to rest when fatigued causing an accident means that the trucker may be sued for damages if they get into an accident and people get hurt or are killed.
According to a report published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, more than 4,100 truck drivers were involved in fatality crashes in 2016. Of these, 32 percent of truckers involved in fatal collisions had at least one driver-related factor—such as fatigue—involved at the time of the crash. Almost 30 percent of collisions involving heavy trucks were angle crashes (as opposed to rear-end crashes or head-on collisions). Heavy trucks colliding with passenger vehicles was the type of crash that made up the majority of both injurious and fatal accidents.
Call Shenderovich, Shenderovich & Fishman if you want to consult a Pittsburgh truck accident attorney. We are experts in truck crash injury law, and our track record of positive results speaks for our experience and knowledge in the field. We charge the lowest fees of any legal practice in the area, and we do not charge any legal fee unless we recover damages for you in the form of financial compensation. We will work hard to get you every dime you are entitled to under the law, and we charge nothing for a consultation. Call today to make the first move toward getting justice as an accident injury victim.