Texas residents may think of tiredness as a recognizable driving condition. Who hasn't driven while at least a little fatigued, especially commercial truckers rushing to meet employer deadlines? Safety laws attempt to prevent truck accidents caused by driver sleepiness, but that doesn't keep some trucking companies from pushing drivers beyond their limits.
Negligence can trickle down in commercial trucking accidents. Fault may be due to driver carelessness or wrongdoing, lax employer policies and manufacturing or ignored mechanical defects. Due to the overpowering size and weight of tractor-trailers, injury and fatality victims of trucking accidents are often occupants of smaller vehicles.
Cars were not involved in an early morning, multi-truck crash that injured two Texas men in nearby Oklahoma. A Dallas semi-truck driver suffered multiple serious injuries when his truck rear-ended another tractor-trailer near Paoli. The 57-year-old trucker fell asleep on Interstate 35 with two passengers on board.
The trucker blamed for the crash was trapped in the wreckage for 45 minutes before he could be freed and hospitalized. A 28-year-old male passenger, who had not been wearing a seat belt, suffered severe head injuries. The second passenger was treated for minor injuries. The trucker whose vehicle was hit was unhurt.
Commercial trucking accident investigations include crash-site evidence searches and victim and witness testimonies. Chemical tests are administered to rule out drugged or drunk driving. Officials also examine the vehicles to eliminate mechanical failure.
The investigation includes a review of driver employment and driving records. The probe then turns to the driver's employer, where safety violations like poor driver training or hiring practices might be found. Authorities will focus on driving schedules to find out whether truckers are given adequate rest times between long hauls.
Whether or not criminal charges are filed, trucking accidents victims have the right to seek compensation for pain, suffering and financial harm through civil courts.
Source: paulsvalleydailydemocrat.com, "Sleepy driver leads to truck crash" No author given, Aug. 29, 2013