Lack of adequate sleep or driving when your body is naturally drowsy can be dangerous. It may decrease reaction time and focus levels, and even lead to falling asleep behind the wheel. Driver fatigue could be a leading factor behind any vehicle accident, including semi-truck crashes.
Even with required off-duty periods, many commercial truck drivers work long hours with irregular schedules. One study shows that truckers average five hours of sleep a night, and roughly 19 hours awake. Alarmingly, being awake for even 17 hours similarly affects performance as having a BAC of 0.05 percent.
Many drivers are operating under serious time constraints from the companies they drive for. This causes them to skip steps in their off-duty periods, drive faster than permissible or cut corners in a variety of fashions. Holding the driver and the folks pressing them accountable requires investigation by an experienced attorney.
Improper Stopping Distance.
Because of semi-trucks’ weight, they gain more momentum than cars and require more time and distance to stop. Significant truck accidents commonly occur when a car cuts in front of the truck and brakes quickly, leaving the big rig insufficient time and space.
In Washington, trucks are obligated to follow the speed limit. Some commercial vehicles contain devices that prevent frequent speeding. However, speeding is not uncommon. With tight delivery schedules, drivers might feel rushed to meet a deadline. The weight and size of a truck mean speeding can have especially dangerous consequences.
Vehicle failure can also be a factor behind a crash. Parts might be faulty or broken. In this case, a commercial trucking company would be liable for the accident, as they are required to perform regular safety checks and repairs.
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