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Crash puts spotlight on truck accidents caused by tired drivers

Upholding a standard duty of care is required when drivers get behind the wheel. Failure to do so could mean a serious or fatal collision. Speeding, texting, intoxication or being fatigued could be a negligent act that could others on the roadway at risk.

Several weeks ago, the truck accident that took the life of a comedian while injuring actor Tracy Morgan shocked Colorado residents. However, the repercussions of the incident can still be felt today because it also placed the spotlight on a nagging concern that should be addressed immediately: tired truck drivers who often cause truck accidents.

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, almost 4,000 people die in truck accidents each year. Truck driver fatigue plays a large part in such accidents and the driver of the Wal-Mart truck involved in this accident could be part of the statistics because it has been stated that he had not slept for more than a day before he crashed into the celebrity's limousine.

Sleep deprivation, like alcohol, can dull reflexes and judgment when behind the wheel. According to research from the National Transportation Safety Board, sleep-deprived truck drivers have plowed into clearly visible vehicles because they did not immediately grasp what was in front of them.

A truck accident involving driver fatigue often results in devastating circumstances. Serious injuries and a significant number of fatalities have been reported from such accidents. Now, safety advocates, as well as the Obama administration, has locked horns with the trucking industry about proposed changes in the federal trucking regulations.

The new proposal would require drivers to put at least 80 hours a week on the road, up from the 60 to 70 hours a week allowed by the present regulation. The added hours could be a recipe for disaster as already tired drivers will be obligated to put more time on the road.

As federal regulations are sorted out, it is important for truck owners to take care of their drivers as well as their vehicles. Otherwise, they can be held criminally liable if a Colorado resident suffers injuries in a truck accident. Those involved in a truck accident might have a civil claim against the parties at fault. A personal injury claim or a wrongful death suit could provide them with compensation that could alleviate expenses associated with the truck accident.

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