When people in North Carolina get behind the wheel while exhausted or pick up their phone while driving, they can pose a serious danger to others on the road. The consequences are often magnified when a large commercial truck is involved. Motor vehicle accidents that involve semi-trucks are far more likely to cause injury or even fatalities for people in other vehicles due to the size and weight of the truck. Therefore, reducing dangerous and negligent truck driving is a key priority for improving roadway safety.
Nevertheless, truck driver fatigue plays a major role in up to 100,000 reported trucking accidents every year. The National Safety Council estimates that 13 percent of all fatal truck accidents and 28 percent of all crashes involving only a single commercial vehicle are linked to drowsy driving and fatigue. There are a number of reasons why truck drivers may be exhausted. Some may be driving outside of safety regulations and over their limited hours of service. In other cases, their shifts are legal but frequently changed, leading to disorientation and fatigue. Truck drivers operate their vehicles on lengthy stretches of monotonous highways, a process that can be tiring, especially at night.
Drowsy driving isn’t the only danger posed by truck drivers, however. The distracted driving epidemic does not exempt those behind the wheel of commercial trucks. Up to 15 percent of all motor vehicle accidents causing injuries, and 10 percent of all fatal crashes are linked to drivers distracted by their smartphones or other external stimuli.
When people are hit by a drowsy or distracted truck driver, the consequences can be catastrophic. They could face severe injuries and permanent disabilities as a result. A personal injury lawyer may work with commercial truck accident victims to pursue compensation for their damages, including medical bills and lost wages.