NTSB Report Released That Shows Driver Fatigue Likely Caused Florida Bus Accident in Which Four Migrant Farm Workers Were Killed
According to a recent report about an accident caused by driver fatigue in Florida’s Panhandle from the newspaper USA Today, driver fatigue can be an even more extreme hazard than many drivers may have known. As reported in the article, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently released its findings from an accident near the town of St. Marks south of Tallahassee in the Florida Panhandle that killed four migrant farm workers in the summer of 2016. NTSB investigators determined that driver fatigue likely caused the accident, in which a bus carrying more than thirty farm workers failed to stop at either the blinking red stop light or a stop sign at an intersection and collided with a commercial moving truck. Along with the four migrant farm workers that were killed, another 29 bus passengers, the driver of the bus and a passenger in the moving truck’s sleeper berth also were injured in the accident. The bus passengers were mostly Haitian farmworkers who had been harvesting corn in Georgia. When interviewed by NTSB investigators, the bus driver apparently reported he was “always sleepy” and that he had only gotten 4.5 hours of sleep the night before the crash. This accident only highlights the treacherous nature of driver fatigue, particularly when commercial vehicles like the bus in this accident are involved.
The Dangers of Driving While Fatigued
As every driver knows, fatigue slows your reaction time, making you less able to stop or slow down and can also seriously affect the quality of your decision making. You may misjudge the speed of a car in the next lane and merge directly into that car, causing injury or even death to the occupants of that vehicle; you may approach a stop sign too fast, not realizing you will not be able to safely stop in time, plowing into the car in front of you due to your fatigue. Every time a driver chooses to drive tired, she is putting not only his or her own life but the lives of those on the road at risk.
Driver fatigue can be even more catastrophic when the tired driver in question is a commercial truck driver. Commercial truck drivers are in command of an 80,000 lb. tractor trailer that can be difficult to maneuver or come to a complete stop if necessary even when the driver is fully rested. When the commercial driver is tired, the consequences can be tragic, as was the case in the accident in the report above. This can be compounded by the fact that many commercial truck drivers choose to drive at night, when there are fewer vehicles on the road. However, even if the truck driver has slept during the day, the human body’s natural circadian rhythms are built so that the drivers may still be fatigued while driving an 80,000 lb. tractor trailer at night. Therefore, if such a driver makes even the slightest mistake or miscalculation, the results can be fatal for surrounding motorists or the commercial truck driver him or herself.
Contact the Experienced Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys at Schwed Law if You or a Loved One Have Been Injured in a Motor Vehicle Accident Caused by a Fatigued Driver
If you or a loved one have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in which driver fatigue played a part, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed Adams Sobel & McGinley, P.A. At Schwed Adams Sobel & McGinley, over 90 percent of the cases that our firm handles relate to motor vehicle accidents. Our skilled personal injury attorneys have over 150 years of legal experience and we have represented thousands of accident victims, including dozens injured in accidents in which driver fatigue played a part. Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org or (877) 694-6079 to discuss your legal options today.
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