While there are many reasons why big rig truck accidents happen, one of the more common cited reasons is being dead tired at the wheel and still trucking.
It’s hard to imagine that one of the more common causes of large commercial truck accidents is fatigue, although it makes sense when the whole picture of the trucking industry is brought into focus. Jockeying a big rig doesn’t always pay the best rates and drivers often need to drive for much longer than the legally allowable maximum time on the road. “Approximately 750 people die every year and over 20,000 are injured because of fatigued drivers on the roads with their rigs,” outlined Lance Sharp, an Austin, Texas, attorney at The Sharp Firm.
It’s not too hard to figure out that being sleep deprived will make a trucker, or other driver, drift off while driving, causing the vehicle to swerve into another lane. Other dangerous results due to a lack of sleep may include jackknifing, rollovers and improper down-braking. Unfortunately, when a big rig is involved in an accident, it often winds up involving multiple vehicles. “Over 600 truck drivers a year meet an untimely end as a result of accidents they cause themselves while driving their rigs while not completely awake and alert,” said Sharp.
“Even though it is a legal requirement that log books must be kept, there have been cases where two books are kept instead of one – one showing the required hours a trucker has been driving, and the other showing the actual hours on the road,” explained Sharp. Finding these logs are helpful when it comes to litigating big rig accidents. In addition, if a truck has a “black box” on board, it will help reconstruct what happened prior to the accident.
“Dealing with a large truck accident is most often a mass confusion of overlapping regulations and laws. In most instances trucking accident lawsuits are brought against the trucking company and driver,” commented Laura Sharp. However, there may also be another entire cast of characters thrown into the mix that involves insurance companies, mechanics, government agencies, manufacturers and maintenance companies.
In cases like this, the complete history of the truck, its inspections etc., are crucial to establishing what condition the vehicle was in prior to a collision. Road conditions and maintenance will also play a part in this story.
When there has been a large truck accident, it is vital to contact a large truck accident attorney to have the case dealt with expeditiously. One such law firm in Austin, Texas, is The Sharp Firm, where Lance and Laura Sharp have over 40 years of combined legal experience at your service.