Truck crashes into house in Nashville and kills woman in bed

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Fatal truck crashes have increased in recent years in Tennessee, and are caused by a variety of common factors, including distraction and fatigue.

Commercial trucks are a vital part of our country's economy, but they also present a serious safety hazard for those sharing the roads with them. Because of their size and speed, large trucks are especially dangerous on Tennessee freeways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3,900 people were killed in large truck crashes on U.S. roadways in 2012, and many more were injured. In Tennessee alone, 111 people lost their lives in truck accidents that year. This was an increase in truck crash fatalities over the previous four years.

Common reasons for truck accidents

The trucking industry has been known for decades for the long hours that truckers spend behind the wheel. Fatigue is a factor in numerous accidents, but can hardly be more serious when a truck driver falls asleep while driving. To address this problem, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has imposed restrictions on the number of hours that truck drivers are allowed to drive. Today, they must not exceed 11 hours behind the wheel daily, and no more than 70 hours of driving in a week before taking a 34-hour break. This is a decrease from the previous maximum of 82 driving hours in a week.

Distraction is another common cause for truck crashes. Texting and driving is just as dangerous for truckers as for any other driver, which is why it is illegal for truck drivers to use a hand-held mobile device behind the wheel. This restriction includes talking on a cellphone, unless the device is hands-free.

Other truck crash risks, says State Farm, include:

  • Poor weather, road or traffic conditions
  • Brake failure or other vehicle malfunctions
  • Improperly loaded cargo

The loss of a loved one due to a truck crash can be devastating. This point was tragically illustrated in an accident in Nashville last October in which the victim was not even on the roadway. According to The Tennessean, the driver of a semi-truck carrying a load of pumpkins lost control and left the road, crashing into the bedroom of a home and killing a 66-year-old woman who was sleeping there. Since the crash occurred at 3:30 in the morning, it is possible fatigue was a factor, although authorities were still investigating the incident.

Contacting an attorney

As shown above, truck collisions are impossible to predict and may be shockingly sudden. The devastating consequences of these crashes can impact a family for life. If you've been injured in a truck crash, the chances are that you are now dealing with crippling medical bills and other expenses as a result of your recovery and lost work time. It is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your options, which may include compensation.

Keywords: truck, accident, injury