Driver Fatigue Can Result in Serious Large Truck Accidents

July 24, 2016 — by Mark T. Flickinger, JD
Tags: Truck Accidents Auto Accidents Wrongful Death

An overturned tractor-trailerThe lawyers of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton have helped countless clients in the greater Provo area. We believe in the rights if injury victims and their loved ones, and we fight diligently for them every step of the way.

When it comes to lawsuits for serious truck accidents, it's important to have strong legal representation in place. One of the leading causes of these kinds of collisions is driver fatigue. Let's consider this in greater detail right now.

Defining Driver Fatigue

Driver fatigue refers to cases in which a driver is pushed to a point of exhaustion and remains behind the wheel even though he or she is quite tired. This may be due to a lack of sleep or a lack of rest.

When a driver is not fully rested and operates a vehicle, they pose a danger to themselves and others. For one, their mental alertness is seriously affected. The driver may dose off behind the wheel, or they simply may not be aware of coming hazards on the road or traffic signs and signals. In addition, their reaction time is adversely affected, meaning there may be a delay in braking or swerving to avoid a collision.

Why Large Truck Drivers May Suffer from Driver Fatigue

Commercial trucks are essential for interstate commerce, shipping items large and small. Truck drivers are often forced to work long hours in order to deliver goods on time. Keeping on schedule can be harder than one expects, which means pulling long hours and sometimes skipping sleep in order to be on time. When this happens, the safety of everyone is put at stake.

The Tracy Morgan/Walmart Lawsuit

One of the most high-profile cases of truck driver fatigue involved actor/comedian Tracy Morgan of Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock. In June 2014, a Walmart tractor-trailer was involved in a multi-car collision on the New Jersey Turnpike. Within one of the vehicles was Morgan as well as a few of his friends. The collision left Morgan seriously injured and claimed the life of his friends and long-time collaborator James McNair.

Morgan sued Walmart for negligence as it was determined the truck driver had been awake for more than 24 hours before the crash occurred. Walmart settled the lawsuit out of court in May 2015 for an undisclosed amount.

Trucking Companies and Drivers Must Be Responsible

Given the dangers of driver fatigue, it's crucial that trucking companies and truck drivers be extremely careful on the road. Drivers should not skip sleep or be on the road for a dangerous amount of time. Trucking companies, similarly, must be reasonable when it comes to the burden of their truck drivers and their schedule. By being responsible behind the wheel and behind the desk, more motorists can be spared the harm that large trucks pose.

How Our Attorneys Can Help with These Cases

Whenever someone is seriously harmed in a trucking accidents, the team at Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton can help in the legal process. Companies often have strong legal teams in place in case of injuries and accidents. We will not be intimidated and will fight for you every step of the way to ensure fairness and the fair recovery of damages for injuries and losses sustained as a result of the crash.

Contact the Lawyers of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton

For more information about your legal rights following a serious auto accident, it's important that you contact our team of auto accident attorneys today. The legal team here at Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton are here to help you receive just compensation for injuries and losses.