Imagine saying goodbye to your significant other as they leave for a few hours only to find they would never return home. That is exactly what happened to Bonnie Clark. Wiley Clark was married to Bonnie for 36 years. He left one Sunday morning to go get breakfast and never returned home to his wife. Wiley was struck head on by a semi-truck and was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Bonnie is now pursuing a lawsuit against Swift Transportation, Wal-Mart Transportation, and the truck driver at fault for her husband’s death.
While this story is heartbreaking, unfortunately it is not all too uncommon. In 2013, there were 91,000 crashes in the United States involving semi-trucks. From these crashes came 133,000 injuries and 739 fatalities. These numbers are alarmingly high but show a harsh truth about accidents happening every day. Part of the reason that truck accidents are so common is their weight. These trucks weigh about 80,000 pounds compared to a standard car weighing about 5,000 pounds. This causes the trucks to need 40% more time when attempting to stop than cars do. Not only are these vehicles huge, they are being operated by sometimes sleep deprived drivers. In the average work week truck drivers can drive between 70 and 82 hours. Many of us are exhausted after our 40 hour work week so you can see how 70 hours would take a toll on your body. There have been new rules put in place to try and eliminate some of this overly tired driving such as drivers taking a 30 minute rest break in their first eight hours of driving each week, and having to take a full 34 hour rest period after reaching 70 to 82 hours. Some seasoned truck drivers, however, do not always comply by the rules and add in a full shift each week to their driving time. . Unfortunately many of the fatalities that come with these accidents are the drivers themselves due to being exhausted and driving.
These accidents need to be taken very seriously. It is important to watch for semis just as you watch for motorcyclist. If you find yourself victim to a truck accident, don’t hesitate to call us and see how we can help you. If you are interested in what to do should you be involved in a truck accident, request a free copy of Steve’s book, “9 Costly Mistakes to Avoid After a Truck Accident,” on our website.