Fatigue & Trucking Crashes in Georgia
At one time or another, the majority of us have been driving our vehicles and suddenly come to the realization that we don’t remember the last few miles. Driving, especially on monotonous highways, can cause even the sharpest driver to lapse into a sort of hypnotic trance.
The situation becomes even more dangerous when a driver is tired. It can happen to any of us, but when that driver is operating a large commercial truck, the consequences can be deadly.
Because a sleepy driver is less likely to take evasive actions like braking or swerving, tired drivers are more likely to crash head-on or at high speeds. Truck driver fatigue is such a problem that there are numerous federal and state laws aimed to regulate under what conditions a driver can work. Fatigued drivers have slowed reaction times and a reduced ability to assess situations quickly.
Accidents that involve a large truck are highly likely to result in serious injury or death to the occupants of any passenger cars due to the sheer size and weight of an average truck. While a typical automobile weighs less than 3,500 pounds, a typical truck that’s fully loaded can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Additionally, a truck may be hauling hazardous or flammable materials, which automatically adds a level of danger simply by the nature of the truck’s load. It takes a skilled driver to handle a tractor trailer, but no amount of skill can overcome a person’s biological need for sleep.
As Bad As Drinking?
Fatigue can affect any driver at any time and is known to contribute as much to accidents as speed and alcohol. Estimates suggest fatigue is a factor in up to 30 percent of fatal crashes and within the trucking industry, fatigue is thought to contribute to approximately 25 percent of insurance losses. Because there is no test for identifying whether driver fatigue contributed to a crash (unlike tests for alcohol or drugs), it is very likely that the role of fatigue in accidents is statistically underrepresented.
Contributing Risk Factors
Who Is Liable?
Drivers who make careless choices to drive when they are too tired to safely do so may still be considered negligent and liable for damages. Truck accidents are complicated cases with potentially multiple defendants, and it’s important to consult with a qualified Georgia truck wreck attorney to protect your rights. If you or someone you love has been injured in a GA truck crash by a driver who ignored the rules and common sense, contact the Mann Law Firm today at (478) 742-3381 or through our online form, to schedule a free and confidential initial consultation about your case.