A tractor-trailer in Dickson, Tennessee slammed into another truck on the I-40 exit yesterday, leaving three people with serious injuries.
The Dickson Police Department reported that the crash happened at 4:30 AM on State Route 46 and I-40. The police declined to speculate why the truck driver did not stop while exiting, but they noted that the rig was going too fast on the exit and flew through the intersection and slammed into the other big rig, nearly cutting it in half.
Two people in the first truck were taken to a hospital by LifeFlight. Both were listed in critical condition. Another victim in the other truck was taken to the hospital with non-critical injuries.
Our Virginia personal injury attorneys are relieved that there were no fatalities in this major Tennessee truck crash. It is unclear why the truck exiting the highway did not stop before entering the intersection at State Route 46. However, the accident happened at 4:30 AM. It is very common for tractor-trailer drivers to fall asleep behind the wheel between the hours of 12 am and 6 am. We do not know for certain if this crash was caused by fatigued driving, but it is a possibility.
Driver fatigue has long been recognized as a major risk factor for truck accidents. Truck drivers drive long hours and generally are paid by the mile. These facts can lead truck drivers to drive beyond their ability to continue to keep going beyond when it is safe or legal for them to do so. Truck drivers have a lot of training on how to drive safely, but no amount of training can overcome the need to sleep.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA recommends that truck drivers always get enough sleep before they start to drive. It also is a good idea for truckers to not drive between 12 am and 6 am, when our bodies are naturally drowsy.
Maintaining a healthy diet also is important to stay awake behind the wheel. Going to bed on an empty stomach or right after eating a heavy meal also can make it hard to sleep.
It also is important to avoid taking any prescription medications that can cause the driver to become drowsy. This is a common problem: The FMCSA states that 17% of tractor trailer crashes in a recent study were at least partially due to the driver having taken over the counter or prescription drugs at the time of the wreck.
When truck drivers fail to drive in a safe manner, they can get in major truck accidents that can injure and kill innocent people. Truckers should make sure they get enough sleep, avoid accidents, as well as avoid expensive personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.
Our truck accident attorneys based in Virginia have handled many such truck crash cases. We also handle truck injury cases throughout the eastern United States, and this requires that we be familiar with federal regulations, and the techniques used by truck companies to avoid being held liable for violating federal regulations or state corresponding requirements.