Semitrailers and other large commercial vehicles often make drivers of passenger cars nervous. The sheer size of these trucks allows them to cause severe damage when they are involved in accidents, especially when they collide with other oversized vehicles at high speeds.
The risks are magnified, however, when a truck driver’s full attention is not focused on being alert and attentive while behind the wheel.
Tragedy Strikes in Fatal Bus Crash
According to the Post-Standard, last July a tractor-trailer collided with a Canadian tour bus, killing one passenger and injuring 30 others. Until recently, however, the cause of the crash remained a mystery.
Police investigators have finally concluded the primary contributing factor for the crash was inattentive driving by the truck’s operator, possibly even being asleep at the wheel. Investigators believe that the bus was clearly visible and that the truck driver would still be alive today had be paid better attention to the road.
Unfortunately, hundreds of similar accidents occur every year in America. For example, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation – driver recognition, or inattentive driving, is the second leading factor that causes large truck accidents in the United States. Other causes include:
- Speeding or overly aggressive driving
- Lack of sleep or illness
- Overworked drivers
- Driver impairment (drunk or using narcotics)
- Improper training
- Mechanical failures (brakes, headlights or tires)
Be Safe and Protect Your Rights
People do their best to practice safe driving habits to reduce their risk of an accident. Driving slow in dark, wet or icy conditions, keeping tires properly inflated, as well as waiting to read or type a text message until the car is stopped are all habits by which safe drivers abide.
Of course, the reality is that accidents occur regardless of how careful we are to prevent them. Those injured in a crash due to a truck driver’s negligence or inattentive driving have a right to be compensated for their injuries. Anyone hurt in a trucking accident should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss their legal rights and options.