Wrongful Death by Truckers May Increase After Regulation Cut

There are numerous instances in which truck drivers have been known to disobey roadway laws. Some examples of these actions include running traffic lights, speeding and driving too many hours in a day. All of these instances can lead to serious injuries, including wrongful death, for other individuals on the roads. This is true whether in Connecticut or elsewhere in the United States.

The government says that over 12 percent of commercial truck drivers are fatigued when involved in a vehicle accident. Over the previous five years, the numbers of accidents involving larger trucks have significantly increased. Since 2009, fatalities have increased 18 percent. In 2012, more than 100,000 individuals were injured and almost 4,000 people were killed in truck-related accidents.

These statistics are very alarming. However, what is even more alarming about this is the fact that a senate committee recently voted to pull back on the regulations that were designed to keep truckers who have clocked too many hours off the highways. The regulation would require that truck drivers who had clocked 60 to 70 hours in seven to eight consecutive days stay off the road for 34 hours. Supposedly, the senator who proposed that the regulation be suspended says that more research is needed.

The human body needs sleep, just as it is needs food and water. When it is not provided with that sleep, the body becomes weak and the individual experiences fatigue. When this fatigued person is behind the wheel of a vehicle, especially a large tractor-trailer, it is possible for a serious accident to occur and injure others. If this happens, victims in Connecticut have legal rights to pursue personal injury or wrongful death claims against the truckers as well as the companies for which they work and drive. This can possibly result in financial restitution for the victims or their families.

Source: The New York Times, “Drowsy Drivers, Dangerous Highways The Trucking Industry Wants to Weaken Safety Rules“, June 13, 2014

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