By Richard Shapiro, Virginia Trucking Injury Lawyer
The tractor trailer driver near Greensboro NC who hit several parked motorcycles on I-85 last month has been charged with felony hit and run, as well as misdemeanor death by motor vehicle. Police believe he fell asleep at the wheel.
The North Carolina State Police stated that six motorcycles were parked along the shoulder of I-85 when the big rig smashed into them at 80 MPH or more.
State prosecutors stated that the driver was alert after the wreck and was not impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Two motorcyclists died in the wreck. Four others were injured.
Police stated that the driver had had his CDL for one year. He claimed when detained by police that the arrest was illegal because he doesn’t speak English.
Our team of Virginia trucking injury lawyers has been involved in many truck crash cases that involved speeding and driver fatigue. In the majority of big rig crashes, driver error is to blame. In fact, statistics show that commercial truck drivers are an astounding 10 times more likely to cause their own crashes – much more likely than crashes due to weather, road conditions or truck maintenance issues.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the following driver errors are the most common causes of trucking crashes:
- Over the counter drug use: Drugs as apparently harmless as cold medicine or allergy pills can lead to drowsiness behind the wheel.
- Prescription drug use and illegal drugs: Some prescription drugs and many illegal drugs impair judgement and reaction time.
- Speeding: Some drivers are under pressure to get their load delivered.
- Driver inattention: Truck drivers may not check blind spots, may be careless when merging, or may be distracted by the radio or cell phone.
- Fatigue: Drivers are legally required to only drive only a certain number of hours per day.
Innocent drivers who are injured by truck drivers should be aware that driver error often is to blame. We hope that all truck drivers will take note of this above case apparently caused by driver error. Such accidents can and must be prevented.