How Driver Fatigue Can Lead To Truck Accidents
Not seeing a semi-truck is a rarity when driving on any highway or major road in Nevada. After all, tractor-trailers are responsible for transporting all sorts of commodities throughout the state.
Because of its size and weight (about 80,000 pounds), a fully-loaded semi-truck traveling at 55 mph will need approximately 300 feet, or the length of a football field, to come to a complete stop.
Unfortunately, these heavy trucks are involved in nearly 500,000 motor vehicle crashes each year with a truck accident occurring at least once every 16 minutes in the United States.
Additionally, in 2011 alone, there were 88,000 injuries and 3,757 fatalities related to truck accidents. In Nevada, approximately 1.5 percent of all traffic accidents involve commercial trucks.
These crashes are related to a variety of factors, including:
- Inexperienced or improperly trained truck drivers
- Improperly secured cargo
- Excessive speed, such as going over the 55 mph or 65 mph posted speed limit on a highway
- Poor road and/or weather conditions
However, there is one factor that contributes the most to truck wrecks, driver fatigue or ‘drowsy driving’.
It is estimated that 20,000 truck accident related injuries have been officially linked to truck driver fatigue each year. However, experts believe that many more cases of drowsy driving go unreported or remain unconfirmed meaning the statistics could actually be much higher.
- Sixty-five percent of fatal truck accidents occur after sunrise and following late-night or all-night drives.
- The majority of semi-truck accidents occur with drivers who have been awake for 24 consecutive hours or longer.
Fortunately, the federal government has recognized this issue and enacted new Hours of Service restrictions that became effective in 2013. These new regulations create a new work/rest cycle for commercial truck drivers and aim to prevent drowsy driving related crashes.
The bottom line is most trucking accidents are preventable. If you, or someone you know, has been injured in a truck crash, call Bertoldo, Baker, Carter & Smith now to receive a free consultation and speak with a qualified and experienced Las Vegas area truck accident attorney who can evaluate your claim.