It isn’t smart to get behind the wheel of a car when you’re exhausted and on the brink of sleep. The same goes before getting behind the wheel of any type of automobile–especially a semi-truck. A truck of this size can easily severely damage any vehicle in its path. Trucking companies work to minimize truck accident liability by hiring skilled, professional drivers. However, the realities of modern trucking can turn even skilled drivers into dangers to others. One of these potential dangers is excessive fatigue.
Statistics Involving Truck Driver Fatigue
Falling asleep or becoming disoriented at the wheel can lead to truck accident liability claims, severe injury, and sometimes death. According to the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), fatalities from truck driver fatigue hit a high in 2011 and have decreased slowly since then. Research also shows that the older an individual, the more likely they are to experience truck driver fatigue.
However, automobile accidents can occur to anyone at any time–no matter how cautious a driver is trying to be or how old they are. Stay alert when on the road and when fatigue creeps in, pull over and take a break. If you become involved in a truck accident lawsuit, Stephens & Holman is prepared to help.
Fatigue vs Truck Accident Liability: What to Know
If you were behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler when an accident occurred or in a car impacted by one, the following points will be critical during the claim process.
Fatigue is an obvious reason for truck accident liability on the road. When the driver of any vehicle becomes drowsy behind the wheel, dangerous scenarios can occur. If fatigue is due to a health diagnosis or mental health condition, speak with your medical provider about how this can be addressed.
There are many other reasons truck accidents occur. Driving too quickly for the road conditions is a leading cause of truck accidents according to TIRF. Another cause of accidents is driving over the speed limit. Like many automobile accidents, drug and alcohol use play a major role in trucking accidents. Distracted driving and ignoring signs and signals on the road are other leading causes of trucking accidents.
Common Injuries Caused by Truck Accidents
Truck accidents are typically more dangerous and damaging than accidents between passenger vehicles. Because of the weight and size differential between cars, trucks, SUVs, and semi-trucks, these accidents frequently result in serious injuries. Some injuries associated with truck accident liability are traumatic brain injury, shattered bones, neck and back injury, internal organ damage, and spinal cord injury.
Truck Accident Liable Parties
TIRF reports that 74% of truck accident injuries and 87% of truck accident fatalities are suffered by the drivers and passengers of smaller vehicles. Undoubtedly, some truck accidents are caused by the drivers of smaller vehicles, but there are often multiple contributing factors in these cases and a full investigation is necessary to properly establish liability.
There are many parties that may be held accountable for injuries following a truck accident. Some of these parties include the truck driver themself or the company that owns the truck. Mechanics are always a factor to consider when it comes to truck accident liability, as well as the parts manufacturers involved.
Depending on the cause of your accident, the conditions at the time, and other relevant factors, there may be more than one liable party in a truck accident claim. Our truck accident liability lawyers help determine who is liable and help victims of serious injury get fair compensation.