Articles Posted in Truck Accidents

Earlier this month, two truck drivers were tragically killed in a fatal truck accident just north of Wickenburg, Arizona. According to a news report covering the tragic accident, the two drivers were both driving semi-trucks, but heading in opposite directions. Evidently, the southbound truck crossed over the center median, although it is not yet known why, and the two vehicles crashed head-on. Unfortunately, both drivers were pronounced dead at the scene. Additionally, US-93, where the crash occurred, was closed for several hours in the aftermath of the accident.

While some accidents occur with no one to blame, far too many accidents happen as a result of distracted or fatigued driving. This is especially common with truck drivers, who have financial incentives to drive long distances each day, often with very little sleep beforehand. Because they are driving for such extended periods, boredom may cause them to check their phones, call or text loved ones, watch videos, or even play games. Unfortunately, even a few seconds of distracted driving can cause an accident. For example, a driver watching a video on his or her phone may accidentally veer across a median into oncoming traffic, causing a tragic accident like the one described above. Other times, a driver may become fatigued from their long hours and zone out or even nod off, causing them to crash.

While nothing can bring back a loved one after a tragic accident, Arizona law does allow the surviving family members of a deceased accident victim to sue the responsible party in a wrongful death suit. If successful, the family members may be able to receive monetary compensation to cover funeral and burial expenses, medical bills and emergency care from the accident, the value of lost wages the deceased would have earned, and the loss of companionship suffered by the loved one’s untimely death. When recovering from the untimely death of a loved one, however, it may be difficult for surviving family members to navigate the often complicated process of filing a wrongful death suit, especially while still in mourning. For this reason, potential plaintiffs are encouraged to contact a personal injury and wrongful death attorney who can help navigate the process and alleviate some of the pressure felt by the surviving family members.

Truck drivers must spend countless hours on the road. To be sure, these long hours on the road can get monotonous. Boredom can lead to drowsiness, which may require a truck driver pull over. Because truck drivers are paid per mile, it is in their best interest to travel as far as possible each day. Thus, to help pass the time and stay awake, many truck drivers take prescription or illegal drugs. However, when truck drivers use drugs, they significantly increase the chance of causing an Arizona truck accident.

The most common type of drug consumed by truck drivers is marijuana. In part, this is probably because it is the driver’s preferred drug even while not behind the wheel. However, marijuana is also popular among truck drivers because it can have the effect of creating euphoria, which helps to pass the time. However, even within an hour after smoking or ingesting marijuana, the effects of the drug start to wane, leaving the driver drowsy.

According to a recent news report, Arizona is considering a ballot initiative that would legalize the use of recreational marijuana. Currently, marijuana is only legal for medicinal purposes. However, under the new law, any adult over the age of 21 could purchase the drug for recreational use. Of course, the law contains restrictions on where people can smoke marijuana, and the current prohibitions against intoxicated driving will remain. However, this raises the question of whether the legalization of marijuana will result in more truck drivers using the drug while behind the wheel.

With thousands of miles of highway connecting the west coast with the rest of the country, Arizona sees a disproportionate amount of semi-truck traffic. According to the most recent government statistics, in 2018 alone, there were over 12,500 Arizona truck accidents. This figure accounts for about 5% of all Arizona traffic accidents.

Nearly all truck accidents are preventable, with the exercise of due care. And while there are many causes of tractor-trailer accidents, some causes are more common than others. For example, the following are among the most common causes of Arizona semi-truck accidents.

Fatigue – Truck drivers have a financial incentive to travel as many miles as they can per day. Thus, many truck drivers spend long hours on the road, often with little to no sleep. While federal law requires truck drivers only drive a certain number of hours per day and take breaks at specified intervals, not all truck drivers obey these regulations.

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