Kentucky roads have long been familiar with the giants on wheels that travel alongside other vehicles. Semi-trailer truck driving plays a major role in today's economy; without truck drivers, the country would be drastically different. As vital as this industry may be, many do not stop to think about the health of the employees themselves. Could lack of sleep be one of the biggest hazards for truck drivers and everyone else on the road?
Imagine a large semi-truck trying to make a sudden stop on the streets on Richmond. Sadly, many of the clients that our team here at Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Beachtold has worked with have had to witness firsthand just how great a challenge this is. Given the unique specifications of their vehicles, truck drivers (and the companies that employ them) are required to adhere to strict safety and performance standards. Brake maintenance is among them.
The massive size of the semi-trucks you see on Richmond's roads is already intimidating; imagine how much more so they can be when those vehicles are packed to the brim with freight. Truckers need to be mindful of their cargo and the obligation that they have to their clients to deliver it on time (and in one piece). At the same time, they need to be aware of their position on the road and the dangers that their vehicles (and their loads) pose to other drivers. Many have come to see us here at Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold following accidents caused by truck load failures wondering what sort of legal recourse they may have.
The trucking industry has long been known for its vital role in the American economy. It has also been known to involve long and grueling hours. With Kentucky's truck drivers putting in impressive work hours each week, many may wonder when, exactly, employees get to rest. Although exhaustion is evident in countless lines of work, the trucking industry is currently grappling with burnout among its drivers, as well as issues involving employee health.
The risks posed to innocent people in Kentucky by drunk drivers is nothing new. Given that the holidays have just recently passed, you have likely and unfortunately heard at least one report about an accident caused by a drunk or even a drugged driver. It is sadly not only everyday citizens operating their personal vehicles who may make the dangerous choice to drive while impaired. Truck drivers and operators of other commercial vehicles may do this as well.
Mail trucks are such a normal part of most Kentucky residents' routines that they hardly go noticed when on their everyday routes. This is usually the case, except when one of those trucks becomes involved in an accident with another vehicle. Most are unfamiliar with laws surrounding accidents with mail trucks; some argue that they are immune from traffic laws in totality while others look to a brighter future, where improved truck design could save lives altogether.
You see large semi-trucks and tractor-trailers driving in and around Richmond almost every day. While you appreciate the work that truckers do, you likely shudder to think how dangerous one might become if he or she becomes fatigued while behind the wheel. The risks posed by fatigued truckers and the responsibility they have to stay alert has been detailed on this blog before, yet we here at Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks & Baechtold can attest to the fact that the desire to satisfy both clients and employers can cause truckers to overwork themselves. This raises the question of whether such professionals are left to determine at what level they believe themselves to be fatigued.
It is a well-known fact that truckers in America often suffer from exhaustion due to long driving hours. Similar to the shifts of health workers, trucking assignments can take upwards of 12 hours to complete, creating a physically and mentally draining environment. A large number of truck accidents in Kentucky occur as a result of this exhaustion. Although using amphetamines to stay awake while driving may seem a solution, the overall effects of the drug can be severely consequential.
Think, for a moment, of the feelings you experience when you pull alongside a large semi-truck traveling along Richmond’s roadways. You almost cannot help but feel a small sense of trepidation being so close to such a massive vehicle, given the potential for damage that it presents if you were to collide with it. Sadly, many of those that we here at Shumate, Flaherty, Eubanks and Baechtold have worked with have seen and experienced this destructive potential firsthand. Accidents involving large trucks can cause irreparable damages to vehicles as well as extensive injuries. The net result of these may be inordinate expenses that you are left to deal with.
Kentucky drivers who get into accidents with trucks may be more susceptible to severe injuries than those who get into crashes with vehicles that are smaller or similarly sized. For this reason, you should keep an eye out for signs of possible severe head injury.