Though truck drivers can get into the same kinds of accidents as car drivers, and for the same reasons, there are a few dangers that are unique with truck driving – one of them being fatigue. Anyone can be too tired to drive responsibly, but fatigue is a common occurrence with commercial truck drivers who have to drive long distances for work, typically overnight, and take relatively few rest breaks.
Drowsy driving is considered impaired driving in that:
- It impairs your judgment
- It affects your ability to pay attention to the road
- It slows your reaction time
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that in one year, fatigued driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 900 deaths. A study by the NHTSA also found that 141,000 large trucks were involved in collisions, with fatigue accounting for 13% of them.
When truck drivers are fatigued, they can fall asleep at the wheel and lose control, or have difficulty concentrating on the road and important traffic signals.
Common accidents that fatigued truck driving can cause include:
- Jackknifing, which can happen when a big rig forms a 90-degree angle with the trailer after braking hard
- Rollovers, which cause trucks to roll onto their side when a driver loses control
- Accidents caused by wide turns, which can trap vehicles or pedestrians in the lane beside the truck
- Collisions from blind spots, which commonly occur when truck drivers change lanes
- Rear-ending, which can cause serious injuries and property damage because of the weight of large trucks
- Underrides, which occur when a truck stops quickly and traps smaller vehicles beneath its trailer
- T-Bones, which occur when an impaired truck driver runs a red light and hits another vehicle perpendicularly
How to Share the Road with Trucks Safely
No matter how tiring the job is, it’s up to truck drivers to drive responsibly on the road, but as car drivers, you can also keep some safety tips in mind when driving on the road with a big rig.
If you encounter a commercial truck or rig, it’s important to:
- Drive defensively, as it’s best to be prepared for any sudden movements or lane changes that can result from impaired driving
- Keep extra distance between your car and truck, so that you have time to brake safely if the truck brakes suddenly
- Avoid blind spots by speeding up past trucks or changing lanes
Representing the Injured Since 1975
For the past 45 years, Christian & Christian has been committed to protecting the rights of victims who are suffering from injuries, or have lost a loved one in an accident that could have been prevented. During this difficult time, you can depend on us to protect your rights to compensation for your pain and suffering. Our personal injury lawyers believe that negligent parties should be held responsible, and we prepare for each case tirelessly in order to make sure no one evades liability. With a proven record of success, you can trust us to put your well-being first and achieve the results you want.
Call Christian & Christian at (864) 408-8883, or contact us online if you’ve been injured in a truck or motor vehicle accident. Our truck accident attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience and have helped countless clients successfully recover their damages.