Like all drivers, truckers sometimes get drowsy while traveling on roadways in California and across the United States. However, due to the massive size of big rigs, truck driver fatigue poses an elevated threat to occupants of other vehicles.
For example, two deadly truck accidents in North Dakota have been linked to truck driver fatigue. On Oct. 5, 2018, a tractor-trailer truck smashed head-on into a pickup on the Highway 23 bypass in New Town, killing two people. In 2017, two tractor-trailer trucks struck each other head-on near the same mile marker of the highway, resulting in the deaths of both drivers drivers.
According to media reports, some experts are questioning the design safety of the $25 million Highway 23 bypass, which was completed in 2014. However, authorities believe that truck driver fatigue may have also played a role in the fatal crashes. Beginning in 2017, the federal government mandated that commercial truck drivers keep an electronic logbook to record the number of hours they drive during each shift. According to federal regulations, truckers can work a maximum of 14 hours every day. Only 11 of those hours can be behind the wheel of a commercial truck. North Dakota's Vision Zero Plan reports that 67 percent of all truck crashes in the state between 2012 and 2016 occurred in its oil region.
California residents who have been injured by a fatigued truck driver may want to contact a Costa Mesa truck accident injury compensation law firm for assistance. An attorney could investigate the crash scene, interview witnesses and prepare a lawsuit on a victim's behalf seeking compensation for medical expenses and other losses.