Texas highways are often filled with fast-moving vehicles, many of which are large semi-trucks. Unfortunately, truck accidents on busy highways are all too common.
The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety report that truck accidents kill over 5,000 people each year and injure around 150,000 more. Additionally, nearly one in four fatalities among passenger vehicle occupants in multi-car accidents involve a large truck. More on this website
When a large commercial vehicle, such as a semi-truck, collides with a smaller passenger vehicle, the results for the passenger vehicle are often devastating. The significant weight difference between a large semi-truck and a small passenger vehicle normally means that greater damage is incurred than in a typical passenger vehicle accident.
If you’ve suffered injuries in a large truck accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, including payment for medical bills and lost wages as well as pain and suffering.
To speak with compassionate and caring attorneys, call our car accident lawyers toll-free or email us.
The Role Of Truck Driver Fatigue In Truck Accidents
Fatigue plays a major role in large truck accidents. Fatigued drivers are more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration states that more than 750 people are killed and around 20,000 more are injured each year due to fatigued truck drivers.
Previous studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have also estimated that driver fatigue is a contributing factor in approximately 30 to 40 percent of large truck accidents.
Excessively long hours with minimal breaks are one of the main contributors to driver fatigue. The FMCSA notes that driver fatigue doubles between the eighth and tenth hour of driving and again between the 10th to 11th hour of driving.
Attempts To Combat Truck Driver Fatigue
The FMCSA has enacted guidelines to ensure the safety of both truckers and drivers on the road. Current law requires that large truck drivers take regular rest breaks. The rules state that large truck drivers may not operate their vehicles for more than 10 consecutive hours before taking an eight-hour rest period.
However, the FMCSA regularly proposes new rules for truck drivers. One proposed rule would require drivers to take a continuous rest break for between nine and 12 hours each day. They would also be required to take an additional two- to three-hour break in addition to the continuous rest period.
Requiring longer rest periods for truck drivers would help reduce the risk of death or serious injury from a fatigued truck driver.
A variety of previous public opinion polls show that passenger car drivers have serious concerns about truck driver fatigue. In a Lou Harris poll, 81 percent of Americans believed that fatigued drivers posed a serious safety problem on the nation’s highways.
Trucking companies are responsible for ensuring that their drivers are alert on the roadways. If trucking companies fail to use reasonable care when regulating their drivers, they can be held liable for harm caused to other drivers.
An individual who is injured in an accident involving a large truck may be able to seek compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of a truck driver or trucking company, call us toll-free for a consultation with our car accident lawyers, or email us.
This blog was posted by Ford and Laurel Attorneys Laredo, Texas