Dallas, 12/23/2016 /SubmitPressRelease123/
Investigators have revealed that a devastating semi-truck accident that claimed the lives of six people in Tennessee was caused by a truck driver high on methamphetamine. A new report says the accident, which occurred when the truck’s driver failed to slow down in a construction zone, was due to a combination of excessive speed, drug abuse, and truck operator fatigue.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigated the fatal accident and cited a laundry list of serious violations, any one of which could have been serious enough to cause an accident on its own. Combined, these violations cost six people their lives.
The NTSB says the truck driver, who is based in Kentucky, had gone 40 consecutive hours without sleep—a level of impairment equivalent to driving drunk. The truck driver had also been fired two years before the accident for using illegal drugs. At the time of the June 2015 crash, he had also tested positive for methamphetamines just three months prior.
Additionally, the truck driver failed to slow his speed of 80 miles per hour as he approached the construction zone, which had a posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour. Witnesses said he made no apparent effort to slow or stop as he barreled into traffic, striking seven vehicles and injuring 18 people.
Large Trucks Cause 30 Percent of Fatal Crashes in Work Zones
Although semis account for just eight percent of all highway miles driven by vehicles, they were responsible for 30 percent of all deadly construction zone accidents in 2014, according to an NTSB report.
Due to their large size and heavy weight, semi-trucks take much longer to stop than the average car. A fully loaded semi-truck can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. At this weight, a semi traveling 65 miles per hour requires 525 feet to stop. This is the equivalent of two football fields.
Truck accident trial lawyer Amy Witherite explains that, “Texting and driving is a serious concern for all drivers, but especially for truck drivers. At 55 miles per hour, a vehicle can travel the length of a football field in about four seconds—the same amount of time it takes to send the average text. When you imagine how far that really is, it’s scary to think of how dangerous it is to glance down at your phone for even a second.”
Work zones offer very little by way of a margin of error. With narrow lanes and the presence of heavy equipment and workers on foot, they should always be approached with extreme caution. A distracted driver who is looking at a text or email can cause a catastrophic accident.
The driver in the Tennessee truck accident case is awaiting trial on a $500,000 bond. If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident, contact a Texas truck crash lawyer as soon as possible to determine what steps you should take next in your case.
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