There are many reasons why truck accidents occur. One source is driver error. When a driver of any vehicle makes a mistake or is careless, an accident can result. When it is the driver of a tractor-trailer who acts this way, the resulting damage can be catastrophic.
Dangerous Truck Driver Errors
Some of the most typical examples include:
- Road rage
The ramifications of a truck accident are often devastating. Their hulking size and weight make them particularly deadly when they collide with other vehicles. Disabling injuries and fatal injuries are commonly suffered by the people inside passenger vehicles.
Driver error is not always a malicious, intentional thing. Oftentimes, a careless driver doesn't realize their negligence is going to cause an accident. But as motorists and commercial truck drivers, we all have a duty to exercise basic care behind the wheel. Whether intentional or not, ignoring this duty of care can have life-altering consequences.
Fatigue and Truck Driving
A truck driver is paid to arrive on time and to transport their cargo efficiently. This all boils down to truckers working to get to their destination as quickly but also as safely as possible. Unfortunately, from time to time a truck driver becomes so drowsy that they cause a crash. It doesn't take much. Fatigue makes it difficult to keep your eyes open, impairs judgment-making abilities and slows reaction time.
There are laws in place to prevent drowsy truckers. Hours-of-service laws tell drivers how many hours they may drive continuously without a break. Every once in a while these rules are broken. But in other cases, even a driver following hours-of-service laws becomes too drowsy to drive safely.
One of the most infamous examples is the June 2014 truck crash that injured comedian and actor Tracey Morgan, and killed another comedian, James McNair, in the vehicle with him. In the months following, Federal transportation investigators found the crash was caused primarily by the truck driver's state of fatigue.1 Several other people were injured in the multi-vehicle pileup that resulted. According to a New York Times article, the driver is reported to have been awake for more than 28 hours before the crash occurred. He had already driven a long way from his home to the distribution center, before starting his work shift. The National Transportation Safety Board determined his fatigue caused him to be slow to react, and that he applied the brakes when he was only 200 feet from the back of the limousine van carrying Morgan, McNair and others.
This infamous example is only one of many truck accidents that are caused by drowsy diving. Out of the more than 30,000 people killed on highways each year in the US, one in seven of the fatalities are caused by crashes involving large trucks.2 Not all of these large truck accidents involve fatigue, but many of them do.
What To Do If It Was the Driver's Fault
If you were injured in this type of crash in Chicago or the surrounding areas, or if a loved one was injured or killed, please call our lawyers now. At Sklare Law Group, we know exactly how devastating these accidents can be, and how they can forever change the course of your life. For free, we can tell you whether you have a claim to pursue compensation for your injuries or your loved one's death. Please call us now at 312-263-0771.