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Did fatigue or distraction contribute to deadly truck accident?

In a recent blog post, we explored trucking regulations in regards to fatigued driving. Truckers are particularly vulnerable to driving while drowsy due to the nature and pressures of their job, which is why they are expected to comply with trucking regulations to limit sleepy driving. To learn more about these regulations, you are invited to read our post about Hours of Service regulations.

Unfortunately, there are truckers all across the country who violate these and other regulations. In many cases, we only hear about a violation after a trucker has been involved in a catastrophic accident and authorities investigate what may have caused a crash.

It is possible that a recent fatal trucking accident was the result of a drowsy trucker, and police are still looking into why the trucker failed to apply his brakes before smashing into a bus and killing four passengers.

The trucker evidently failed to respond to a slight curve in the road; instead, he drifted into oncoming traffic and crashed into the bus. Police launched an investigation and determined that the brakes on the truck were functioning properly and that there was no evidence to suggest the trucker had done anything to avoid hitting the bus.

In crashes similar to this one, an investigation into a trucker's logbook, cellphone and driving behaviors reveals that a trucker should not have been behind the wheel. In this case, the trucker claims that he was merely distracted, but reports indicate that the truck drove on the median for 900 feet before the crash. This failure to correct or slow down could suggest that the trucker was asleep.

Determining if fatigue played a role in a truck accident can be crucial. If a driver did fall asleep, not only could the trucker be cited for negligence, but so could his or her employers if they failed to enforce HOS regulation compliance or monitor drivers.

After any accident that involves a truck driver or trucking company, victims and their families should remember that they have the right to speak with an attorney to explore their options for filing a legal claim and pursuing damages from a negligent party.

Source: Overdriveonline.com, "Truck driver in deadly Oklahoma truck-bus crash didn't brake, perform evasive maneuvers," James Jaillet, Oct. 1, 2014

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