Startling Truck Accident Statistics: The problem of truck accidents was recently brought into focus when a famous comedian's limousine was rear-ended by a truck going 65 mph in a 45 mph zone because the driver had apparently fallen asleep. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates trucking in the United States, 5,000 people are killed and 150,000 injured each year in truck accidents. Nearly 25% of multiple-vehicle collision deaths involve a large truck. Large trucks are involved in accidents with multiple vehicles at two times the rate of passenger cars. Almost 800 large truck drivers die each year in accidents. A significant factor in these deaths appears to be falling asleep while driving. The FMCSA says 750 people are killed and 20,000 injured due to fatigued commercial drivers.
Impaired Driving Ability There are five recognized areas in which driving ability is impaired due to sleep deprivation:
- Memory and ability to retain information
- Reaction times
- Degraded vision
Legal Driving Limits Truck drivers are legally limited to driving 11 hours in one stretch and 77 hours over a 7-day period. Some trucking companies violate the law and have truckers work longer hours.
Significant Truck-Related Crashes Earlier this year, a trucker caused a spectacular crash when he demolished a turnpike toll booth. Photos taken by security cameras just before the crash showed that he was apparently asleep. The driver was ejected from the vehicle and killed, and a passenger was critically injured.
Also earlier this year, a driver in a station wagon, stopped at a toll plaza, burned to death when he was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer rig. The truck driver, who was charged with involuntary manslaughter, admitted that he started nodding off 25 to 30 minutes before the accident. Ironically, the truck hit a wall that was designed to absorb impacts from such collisions, but instead the truck went airborne and landed on top of the victim's car.
Another bizarre incident occurred last year when a driver in a pickup truck fell asleep, with his vehicle stopped in a lane in the middle of traffic. When a highway worker tried to waken the driver and remove the keys from the ignition, the driver woke up and suddenly sped off. Apparently the driver was not yet fully awake, because he smashed into two cars causing a five-car accident. Then, probably completely awake, the driver fled, climbing a tree and a barbed wire fence to escape the area.
Perhaps the most horrendous crash of this kind happening recently was when a FedEx truck veered across a highway into oncoming traffic and hit a bus full of students, killing 10 and injuring 30. Since National Transportation Safety Board investigators say the truck did not brake before the collision, there is strong suspicion that the driver may have fallen asleep. When you need a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer, we are here to help.
The Lassen Law Firm only deducts a low 29% contingency fee, not the standard 40-45% like other firms. We serve ALL of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We can sign you up over the phone and start working on your case today.
The Lassen Law Firm
1515 Market St #1510
Philadelphia, PA 19102