Truck accidents: Driver fatigue and rollovers

All motor vehicle accidents are frightening, and even a minor fender bender can leave drivers shaky and filled with adrenaline, but a rollover accident is arguably one of the most serious. When a rollover involves a tractor-trailer, the risks of a devastating accident and serious injury are increased even more.

An analysis of rollover accidents involving large trucks conducted by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine showed that driver fatigue can play a significant role in the risk of a rollover accident. Falling asleep at the wheel or being excessively drowsy was the second most common cause of drivers not paying attention to the road before a rollover. Six of the 20 rollover accidents attributed to drowsiness involved a driver who over-corrected after realizing the truck had gone off the road.

When a tractor-trailer rolls over, the sheer size of the vehicle can cause a major traffic accident as other drivers attempt to avoid the semi. It is also possible for the tractor-trailer to veer off the road, moving into the path of a vehicle in another lane at the same time. Anytime another vehicle is involved in an accident with a tractor-trailer, the risk of serious injury is high.

In Florida, it may be possible for victims of truck accidents to file a personal injury suit against the driver of the tractor-trailer if the driver is found to be at fault. In some cases, it may even be possible to file a suit against the trucking company itself. Your legal options, however, depend on the details of your particular case, and discussing your situation with an attorney can help you better understand how the laws apply.

Source: Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, “Analysis of Large Truck Rollover Crashes” A. James McKnight and George T. Bahouth, Sep. 15, 2014

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