Buffalo Drivers Are Endangered by Truck Driver Fatigue

Dec 2017

Buffalo truck accident attorneyTruck accidents can be among the most injurious of all crashes on the roads of New York. This is because large, heavy vehicles create more powerful force in a collision, and therefore cause more damage than smaller passenger vehicles. While fatigued driving is dangerous for any motorist (it’s been likened to alcohol impairment), it is particularly problematic for commercial truck drivers. The advice of a Buffalo truck accident attorney can help improve victims’ access to compensation for their injuries.

New Yorkers Suffer Real Losses as a Result of Fatigued Truck Driving

The consequences of truck driver fatigue have proven severe for New York motorists.

For one example of the potential damage, consider a recent report from The Drive, which detailed a truck accident in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn early one morning. The operator of a private garbage collection company truck fell asleep behind the wheel and crashed into 13 parked cars. Thankfully, no injuries were reported, but the accident caused thousands of dollars in damage to the cars involved. It is unknown whether the garbage collection company carried sufficient insurance coverage to pay for the extensive damages caused by its driver. Surprisingly, the New York Police Department confirmed that the driver was neither arrested nor ticketed as a result of the incident.

Unfortunately, the consequences of fatigued truck drivers are not limited to monetary damages. Some families will never see their loved ones again as the result of a fatal truck accident caused by a tired driver. This is what happened after a devastating hit-and-run accident in Lancaster, New York. According to WKBW, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a Canadian truck driver, who told police he fell asleep behind the wheel and woke from the force of the impact. The trucker also told police that he stopped a short distance later, but “didn’t see anything.” He thought the small crack in his bumper was from a deer. He was arrested after his truck was spotted at a port of entry between New York and Quebec.

What is Being Done About Fatigued Truck Driving?

For years, federal regulations have restricted the hours of service a commercial truck driver may work. These regulations create required rest breaks and sleep periods and limit the number of hours that may be driven in a given day or week. Now, the Federal Register reports that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is seeking permission to conduct a study into excessive hours on the road by those employed in the commercial motor vehicle industry. The results of this study could provide life-saving insight into the causes of commercial truck driver fatigue.

The problem of commercial truck driver fatigue is best addressed by instilling a sense of personal responsibility in truckers and the transportation companies which employ them. Because truck drivers are often paid by the mile, not the hour, many drivers have a financial incentive to push the boundaries of safety and squeeze in as many miles as possible. Some transportation companies even encourage their drivers to engage in such safety violations. Such behavior puts other motorists, cyclists and pedestrians at risk wherever the truck happens to travel. It is important for injury victims to hold truck drivers and transportation companies accountable for this dangerous conduct. Consult with a Buffalo truck accident attorney as soon as possible after any traffic accident to protect your important legal rights.

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