The crash claimed the life of the 41-year-old Memphis trucker and his 27-year-old passenger, who was in the sleeping cabin at the time of the crash. A Knoxville personal injury lawyer should always be called when a passenger or other motorist is killed in a commercial-driving crash.
No word yet whether driver fatigue could have been involved in this crash. However, the Tennessee Highway Patrol reports the tractor-trailer was carrying U.S. mail when it swerved three times and ran off the right side of the Interstate. The semi struck a tree and overturned.
The AAA Foundation for Highway Safety recently reported nearly half of Americans admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel at some point in their lives. More than 25 percent admitted to driving while so tired they could hardly keep their eyes open at some point during the past year.
"When you are behind the wheel of a car, being sleepy is very dangerous. Sleepiness decreases awareness, slows reaction time, and impairs judgment, just like drugs or alcohol, contributing to the possibility of a crash," said AAA Foundation President and CEO Peter Kissinger. "We need to change the culture so that not only will drivers recognize the dangers of driving while drowsy but will stop doing it."
Fatigue is cited as a leading cause of trucking accidents. Whether it was involved in this accident may never be known; authorities believe the problem may be even more serious than statistics suggest because of the difficulty in determining whether drowsy driving is responsible for an accident that results in fatality.
We reported earlier this month on our Tennessee Truck Accident Lawyer Blog that the government is set to require data recorders in all over-the-road trucks, which will determine compliance with hours-of-service regulations. The regulations are meant to limit the amount of time a driver can remain behind the wheel, but reliance on hand-written long books often make the laws ineffectual.
Alcohol or drugs are not believed to be a factor in the crash but testing is being conducted in accordance with standard procedure.
The Cookeville Herald Citizen reported the crash happened on I-40 about 10 miles east of Crossville.
Both drivers were pinned inside the 2011 International tractor.
If you or a loved one is injured or killed in a trucking accident in Tennessee, contact Hartsoe Law Firm, P.C. for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights with our Knoxville injury lawyers and Marysville accident attorneys. Call (877) 472-5657.