With so many miles of highways, interstates and major arteries throughout the entire state of Maryland there are numerous trucking accidents each year. While there can be many causes of Tractor Trailer Accidents many of them are caused by the truck drivers and their lifestyle. This is due to the constant racing against time by the drivers. Getting cargo to its destination on time, if not early, directly impacts their income. This extraneous pressure presents two very dangerous conditions to other cars sharing the road with tractor trailers: driver fatigue & speeding.
Truck Driver Fatigue
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) driver fatigue is responsible for approximately 30% of fatal trucking accidents. Driver fatigue is normally defined as the driver feeling sleepy and or exhausted while driving a commercial vehicle. Drivers work extremely long hours, have deadlines to meet and must adhere to very pressurized schedules. All of these factors combined help to explain why driver fatigue contributes heavily to trucking & commercial vehicle accidents. Driver fatigue can also impair the judgment & reaction time of a truck driver thereby further compounding the dangers of driving while fatigued.
Common Symptoms of Driver Fatigue May Include:
Feelings of Irritability
Inability to Concentrate
Decreased Reaction Time
Truck Driver Speeding Awake
Feeling the Need to Take Stimulants to Stay Awake
If you or someone you know has been injured in a trucking accident in Harford County or Cecil County, MD area contact the Law Office of David Batzer today at 410 879 2002. In Cecil County call 410 392 6300.
An estimated 25% of large trucking accidents involve a driver with at least one speeding conviction. Due to the pressures and deadlines associated with delivering cargo on time speeding is very common among truckers. When speeding, momentum, inertia & the physics involved in driving a truck it becomes understandable how speeding plays a role in tractor trailer accidents. The speed at which a truck was traveling is determined during the accident investigation. Aspects of the investigation such as the drivers log book, the trucks black box and incorporating an expert witness can help determine if an accident was caused by excessive speed.
Drug and Alcohol Related Trucking Accidents
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol, Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), both of which are also referred to as drunk driving, is a very common offense in todays society. It is also a very dangerous offense when operating a car or passenger vehicle. When drunk driving is combined with operating a commercial vehicle a very common transportation system for consumer goods or hazardous materials can morph into a lethal weapon. The size and contents of the vehicle exponentially increase the dangers of driving drunk for the driver and others on the road.
A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Traffic Safety revealed:
15% of truck drivers had Marijuana in their systems
12% of truck drivers had non-prescription stimulants in their systems
5% of truck drivers had prescription stimulants in their system
2% of truckers had cocaine in their systems
1% of tractor trailer drivers had alcohol in their systems
Laws as well as industry regulations regarding truckers driving while intoxicated are very strict. For instance, if a commercial vehicle operator is arrested for DUI they may be unable to drive any commercial vehicle for a period of 12 months after they are convicted. If the transporting of hazardous materials was involved they will be unable to operate a commercial vehicle of any kind for 36 months. If they are convicted of a subsequent offense DUI their CDL is revoked for life.
Have you or someone you know been involved in an alcohol related trucking accident in Cecil or Harford Counties in Maryland? If so, contact The Law Office of David Batzer today at 410 879 2002 or 410 392 6300.