Truckers play an important role in the American economy, but they can also pose a significant threat in the event these vehicles are in an accident. Collisions involving commercial trucks or semitrailers can leave smaller vehicles with significant damage and motorists with serious injuries. One of the most common reasons these types of motor vehicle accidents occur is due to fatigue.
Fatigued truckers are more prone to making mistakes that could leave innocent people with serious or fatal injuries. If you suffered harm because of a truck accident, it is possible an overly tired driver is to blame. A careful examination of your case can reveal what factors played a role in what happened to you and how you can seek justice.
Why is it dangerous?
Truckers are prone to fatigue because they often spend hours behind the wheel at a time. Despite laws that mandate regular rests and restrictions on how long a trucker can operate a truck before stopping, they often feel pressure to deliver loads as quickly as possible. When an individual is overly tired behind the wheel, he or she is more likely to do any of the following:
- Nod off while driving
- Swerve or drive the car off the road
- React too slowly when a vehicle ahead brakes
- Follow a vehicle too closely
Truckers are responsible for knowing when they are too tired to drive safely. If they feel dangerously fatigued while driving, they should pull over and take a break before they get back on the road.
In the trucking industry, one of the most important ways to prevent accidents is to simply adhere to safely regulations regarding the number of consecutive hours one can drive. Getting the appropriate amount of sleep is key, but there are other things a driver can do to stay attentive and alert, such as consume safe amounts of caffeine.
Who is to blame?
After a truck accident, you may be wondering who is to blame for what happened to you. If a trucker or trucking company was negligent or reckless and you suffered as a result, there are legal options available to you. It is possible you have grounds to move forward with a civil claim against the liable party, a course of action that allows you to pursue compensation and damages. If you are not certain of where to begin, it may be helpful to speak with a Georgia personal injury attorney about your options.