Was Fatal Georgia Trucking Accident Caused by Drowsy Trucking Driver?


July 13, 2015

Most truck drivers are safe, law-abiding drivers, but when the drivers of tractor-trailers get behind the wheel while drowsy, the consequences can be devastating. Although operating any motor vehicle while struggling to stay awake is extremely dangerous, the risks associated therewith increase exponentially when driving a forty ton tractor-trailer due to the longer period of time needed to perform an evasive maneuver to prevent a crash as well as the potential consequences from the enormous energy generated in a collision involving a large truck.

Suspicion Driver in Fatal Georgia Semi Collision Was Sleeping

A recent fatal Georgia trucking accident demonstrates the significant dangers posed by sleep-deprived truck drivers. Specifically, five people died when a large truck collided with two other vehicles last month, according to an Associated Press report. While the trucking accident is still under investigation, the news report indicates that authorities are exploring the possibility that the truck driver fell asleep.

The fatal trucking accident occurred near Savannah on Interstate 16. Witnesses reported that the large truck drifted between lanes right before sideswiping a vehicle and colliding with a sedan from behind. The sedan was crushed between the semi and another truck. Five people were sadly killed in the tragic collision. Police reportedly told media sources that traffic had been halted because of construction, which allowed witnesses to observe the tractor trailer drifting in between lanes prior to the crash.

Fatal Large Truck Crash Occurs against Backdrop of Slow Regulatory Reform

Most trucking companies regulate their drivers in a safe manner.  Although the notion of a driver struggling to stay awake while driving an 80,000 tractor-trailer is almost unimaginable, the trucking industry constitutes a highly competitive market, and some trucking companies expect commercial drivers to operate on tight schedules. 

The above-referenced tragedy follows a report earlier this year that highway regulations have failed to act on more than a hundred recommendations to improve trucking industry safety despite the fact that fatalities have risen for four straight years, according to Bloomberg. The priorities emphasized by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) focus on improved limits on truck driver hours, implementation of anti-collision technology, and stricter regulation of commercial carrier with high accident rates.

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Sources:

ABC News, "Officials Probe Whether Trucker in Georgia Crash Fell Asleep", Russ Bynum, May 20, 2015

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-01-13/trucking-safety-should-be-made-a-higher-u-s-priority-ntsb-says

 

Category: Truck Accidents

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