Driving a massive 80,000 pound, 70-80 feet long semi-truck is an inherently risky situation. For example, a fully loaded truck traveling at highway speeds requires at least 200 yards––two football fields––to stop. In 2018, the most recent year for data, 4,951 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks in California, and 71 percent of those killed were occupants of other vehicles.
Any person who drives fatigued is putting their life, and everyone around them, in danger. Driving an enormous, fully-loaded commercial truck makes the situation even more hazardous.
Common causes of fatigue for truck drivers:
- Pressure and demanding expectations from companies. Some trucking companies put unrealistic and unsafe deadlines on their workers. This can lead to drivers forgoing breaks, working longer hours, and skipping meals.
- Substance use. Sometimes drivers turn to drugs and alcohol to get through a long shift and fight boredom and loneliness on the endless roads they drive. Consequently, these substances can lead to extreme fatigue and loss of their ability to safely drive.
- Inconsistent sleep patterns. A regular sleeping pattern is vital for feeling rested during the day. Truckers work for extended stretches of time, often sleeping in their truck, then off for long periods. This can lead to irregular sleeping experiences and using over-the-counter sleep aids that cause a driver to feel drowsy the next day.
One, or all of the above, can lead to aggressive road behavior, poor decision making, delayed reactions, unfocused driving, and so forth. All of these harmful behaviors contribute to devastating crashes with other cars.
Truck Accident Lawsuits
These lawsuits often involve catastrophic injuries and victims who incur long-term, if not lifelong setbacks. As a result, commercial insurers often view truck accident claims as significant threats to their bottom line and go to great lengths to pay victims as little as possible.
Collecting critical evidence for truck crash cases is also more complicated than for standard vehicle accidents. In the case of a big rig accident, the fault could lie with the driver, the trucking company, the shipper, the parts manufacturer, the loading company––or someone or something else.
At Bostwick & Peterson, we specialize in truck accidents and help victims fight back against corporations that care more about profits than people. We take pride in helping victims understand their rights and available options, the full scope of their damages, and how to pursue the maximum compensation possible – whether through settlement or verdict. Our award-winning attorneys are named amongst The Best Lawyers in America© for record-setting results that have led to recovering over $1 billion in compensation for our clients.