Accidents involving trucks can get quite disastrous. Given that a fully loaded truck may weigh several times a regular car, occupants of smaller vehicles bear the brunt of trucking accidents. Recent statistics paint a grim reality of accidents involving trucks.
Unfortunately, such crashes have been on the rise — and fatigue may play a large role in the process.
Fatigue and trucking accidents
Among the leading causes of trucking accidents is driver fatigue. Truckers have strict deadlines to meet, and in some instances, they work beyond the regulatory hours of service.
Bearing in mind that most drivers get paid by the mile, it makes sense that one would want to clock in as many miles as possible, but it comes at a cost. A tired driver is never fully aware of their surroundings, which is a recipe for disaster. In addition, their reflexes are severely limited by exhaustion which means that a driver cannot react in time to avert a potential crash.
Fatigue may also affect the driver’s ability to make a sound judgment. In fact, fatigue has been likened to drunkenness on the road, and an accident is a real possibility if the person behind the wheel is not fully alert.
Trucking companies may be responsible, too
There are laws in place to regulate the trucking industry regarding road safety. If you were involved in an accident with a truck, there might be more liable parties besides the driver. For example, if the trucking company pushed its drivers to work beyond the legal limits, thereby causing fatigue among them, they are also responsible for any injuries you suffered.
Navigating a trucking accident is slightly different from a regular crash. This is due to the possibility of multiple liable parties and some complexities that may present themselves when it comes to proving a driver was fatigued behind the wheel. Therefore, it is essential to come fully prepared with the proper knowledge of the law and protect your legal rights throughout the case.