Truck accidents happen every day all over the United States, and many of them are preventable, particularly those due to drowsy driving. In June, a high-profile celebrity was involved in a truck accident in New Jersey that landed him in the hospital for weeks.
Drowsy driving is a leading cause of crashes and highway fatalities. According to the New York Times, more than 30,000 people die on highways annually. One in seven of those deaths are due to a tractor-trailer crash.
Statistics show that drowsy driving causes 15 percent of truck collisions, but experts say that the actual numbers may be much higher because of underreporting by the truck drivers, trucking company, and their insurance companies.
Last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration enacted new regulations in an effort to curb fatigued driving amongst truck drivers. The new rules did the following:
- Reduced the maximum workweek for truck drivers to 70 hours
- Require a 34-hour resting period for truck drivers that have reached 70 hours in their week
- Ensure that drivers get to rest at least two nights a week
- Restrict driving to 11 hours a day with a 30-minute break
While trucking officials and the drivers themselves have met these new regulations with resistance, safety advocates believe they will produce a positive change when it comes to truck driver fatigue.
It is still too soon to say whether the new regulations have had an impact on drowsy driving, and it is important to note that not all truck accidents are caused by driver fatigue. Poor road conditions, weather, careless driving, and improper maintenance and training can all cause a terrible accident.
Collisions with a tractor-trailer truck are devastating for all involved. Cars are much smaller and lighter than an 18-wheeler and are no match in the event of a crash. Sadly, severe injuries and even death frequently occur.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a truck accident in the Portland area, we recommend that you consult our experienced truck accident attorneys at Dwyer Williams Dretke Potter. We can help to obtain the maximum compensation possible for your injuries or for your loved one’s death. Our attorneys are skilled in negotiating settlements, and we are not afraid to bring a case to trial if necessary.
Dwyer Williams Dretke Potter offers a free initial consultation to all potential clients. To discuss your particular case with one of our experienced truck accident lawyers, call our office at 541-617-0555.