When truck drivers get tired, the results can be deadly. This is true on any road whether in Houston or throughout the state of Texas.
In June of 2014, a truck accident involving comedian Tracy Morgan and a Walmart semi-truck brought to the forefront a very serious problem on the roads today.
Morgan suffered serious injuries and was in a coma for two weeks and his friend, James McNair, was killed, after Walmart semi-truck driver, Kevin Roper crashed into the back of their vehicle. The National Transportation Safety Board investigated and found the following: “Roper’s truck driver fatigue — exacerbated by his decision to drive 12 hours to work before he even started his 14-hour shift — likely caused the crash that killed comedian James McNair and seriously injured Morgan”.
In other words, this accident could have been prevented.
Top Causes of Truck Accidents
This is not the first accident that was caused by a fatigued semi-truck driver, nor will it be the last. Truck driver fatigue is a well known problem in the trucking industry and has even been listed as one of the top ten causes of large truck crashes by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Below are those top 10 causes of large truck accidents caused by truck drivers in Texas and across the United States.
- Drug use – was the most common cause of truck accidents
- Unfamiliarity with the road being traveled
- Over-the-counter medications
- Failure to check blind spots before making turns or other maneuvers
- Illegal maneuvers such as failing to use a turn signal
- Distracted driving
- Underestimating the level of evasive action required in a big rig
- Aggressive driving
What About the Law?
There are laws and industry standards in place meant to prevent many of these accident causes. The problem is that many truck drivers and trucking companies ignore these laws and standards.
For example, truck driver fatigue can result when the driver falsifies the logbooks he is required to keep. Logbooks track the amount of time the truck driver is driving, not driving, and sleeping. By falsifying these logbooks, truck drivers can drive more hours than allowed by law with the result being more money earned by the truck driver and more deliveries by the trucking company. In fact, one trucking company was even raided by federal agents after it was discovered that they were forcing their drivers to falsify their logbooks if they wanted to be paid for their work.
By falsifying these logbooks the companies and drivers are able to get more loads in during times they should be resting so that they can make more money. Unfortunately, that puts those of who are sharing the roads with these fatigued truck drivers at a very serious risk.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident with a commercial truck, contact The Callahan Law Firm today for a free case evaluation