This blog often discusses truck accidents and the serious harm that can be caused to unsuspecting motorists. These victims can suffer extensive physical injuries, traumatizing emotional turmoil and significant financial loss. In fact, about 5,000 individuals are killed and nearly 150,000 more are injured by these wrecks. While these facts are certainly worth talking about, it is also important to discuss why preventable truck crashes happen and what can be done to stop them.
One major cause of truck accidents is truck driver fatigue. In fact, according to the NHTSA, anywhere from 30-40 percent of truck crashes can be attributed to driver fatigue. This results in far too many motorists being needlessly injured or killed, including those in Tennessee. To make matters worse, strenuous work schedules and lax laws, allowing drivers to be on the road for 16 hours during a 24-hour period, make it difficult for many truck drivers to perform their duties in a safe manner, thus putting others at risk.
There are many proposed laws to help curb truck driver fatigue. Many of these proposals simply limit the number of hours truckers can be behind the wheel in a certain period of time. Some proposals also require truckers to take additional breaks in addition to their off-time or take their sleep break in accordance with normal sleeping hours.
While changing the law is one of the best ways to change behavior, unfortunately, in the meantime, innocent motorists will likely continue to be harmed by semi-trucks and the tired drivers who operate them. When an individual is injured in a truck crash, he or she should seek to recover the compensation to which he or she is entitled. If successful, he or she might recover money to help pay for medical expenses, recoup lost wages and ease pain and suffering.
Source: Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety, "Truck Driver Fatigue," accessed on Oct. 31, 2014