Each year in North Carolina, people are involved in accidents caused by drowsy or fatigued commercial truck drivers. Often, these accidents occur when drivers fail to reduce their speed when traffic ahead has slowed. In other cases, the trucker may drift into another lane due to drowsiness. Fortunately, new technology exists that may help to reduce the incidence of these often catastrophic accidents.
Fatigue is involved in approximately 7,500 fatal motor vehicle accidents each year in the U.S., many of which are caused by commercial vehicle drivers. Companies have been working to develop technologies that can help reduce the problem. Such systems include forward collision warning systems that alert the truck driver about slowing traffic ahead so that there is more time to react.
Lane departure warning systems alert truck drivers when they begin to drift into another lane or off of the highway. Other systems include ones that sense the driver’s driving pattern, then alerting the driver when their steering pattern becomes more sluggish. More and more companies are now installing these systems in their commercial trucks as well as in private vehicles. While these technologies may help reduce the number of accidents, truck drivers should make certain they get sufficient rest and that they pull off of the road when they are feeling tired.
When a fatigued commercial truck driver causes a truck accident, others involved may be killed or suffer catastrophic injuries. Federal trucking regulations are in place that mandate truck drivers take a specified number of breaks and that they are off for long enough between shifts to get adequate sleep. When truck drivers fail to comply with those regulations, they are risking both themselves and others. In the event a driver causes a serious accident, those who are injured may want to obtain the assistance of a personal injury attorney in seeking damages from both the driver and the trucking company.