Officials Currently Investigating Possibility that Georgia Trucker Fell Asleep Before Accident
Five people were recently killed in a tractor trailer crash on Interstate 16 near Savannah. The victims include a couple traveling to celebrate their birthdays and a woman and her young cousin on their way to visit the girl's hospitalized father. The tractor trailer crashed into two cars then tragically burst into flames. Traffic had halted near a construction zone before the crash, and police state that witnesses reported seeing the truck driver fall asleep at the wheel.
Georgia State Patrol members are currently investigating the theory that the truck driver fell asleep behind the wheel, causing the massive vehicle to sideswipe one can then run into another. The truck driver survived the accident and thus far no charges have been issued. A complete investigation will be necessary before any final conclusions as to liability are reached.
The Grave Dangers of Truck Driver Fatigue
According to data compiled by Saferoads.org, over 5,000 people are killed in truck crashes each year and another 150,000 injured. A significant cause of these thousands of truck accidents is driver fatigue. Commercial drivers can become fatigued by excessive daily or weekly work hours. Long hours can equate to an increased risk of death or serious injuries. In sum, it is estimated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), as reported by Saferoads.org, that over 750 individuals die each year and more than 20,000 are injured due to fatigued commercial truckers.
Given the high rate of fatigued truck driver accidents, the FMCSA has proposed a rule change to the hours of service regulations that govern commercial truck drivers. These regulations are designed to prevent truck driver fatigue, but many believe they do not go far enough. The FMCSA has proposed a change in the hours of service requirements that would require a rotating schedule of work and rest based on a 24 hour period instead of an 18 hour period, allowing for longer rest periods for drivers.
Other notable proposed changes include a 32 hour "reset" period, requiring that drivers rest for 32 hours after five to six days of driving for 12 consecutive hours. This rule was slated to take effect, then its enforcement suspended. It remains to be seen whether Congress will continue with adoption of the proposed FMCSA hours of service amendments. As of now, the restart provision remains optional.
Anyone injured in a truck accident that could have involved driver fatigue should consult with a truck accident attorney early on in order to protect their rights. Investigations conducted after the crash can prove vital to your recovery, making it important that you act quickly after the accident.
Put Our Law Firm's Over 39 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Accident Claim!
Tractor trailer accidents can destroy the lives of those involved, inflicting serious injuries or even death. If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, an experienced and knowledgeable attorney can inform you of your legal rights and the steps necessary to protect those legal rights.
The Atlanta Truck Accident Attorneys at Montlick and Associates represent those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.