Truck Wreck Caused by Sleepy Tractor-Trailer Driver

Media reports are reporting about a Greenville SC I85 truck wreck this morning involving a tractor trailer and a sleepy truck driver.  The truck crashed after the driver fell asleep spilling 200 gallons of diesel fuel. Police said a tractor-trailer was traveling northbound on I-85 when the driver fell asleep and lost control of the truck. As a result, the driver went through the guardrail, into the I-385 northbound exit ramp and hit the cement barriers.  Although the driver was not injured, the truck spilled at least 200 gallons of diesel fuel onto the road. Sleepy and tired truck drivers present a grave and serious threat to motorists on the Interstates of Greenville, South Carolina as well as throughout the United States.

Greenville SC I85 Truck Wreck

Greenville SC I85 Truck Wreck

Photo courtesy of WYFF4

This is not the first time a tractor-trailer truck driver fell asleep while driving. A recent article written in Huffington Post discusses the ongoing debate in which trucking companies are lobbying for their drivers to be allowed to work more hours during the week – up to 82 from the already exhausting 70. While the working week hours can increase, the sleep hours may decrease. One contributing factor to the decrease in sleep is sleep apnea, a common disorder in which one’s airways close repeatedly while they sleep, interrupting their breathing dozens of times an hour. This can lead to exhaustion and bouts of dozing off during the day.

Weight is also a risk factor for sleep apnea. A recent federal study showed that nearly two-thirds of truck drivers are considered obese. If a tractor trailer truck driver fell asleep and crashed, it could be related to sleep deprivation. Extensive research links sleep deprivation to heightened crash risks. It has been demonstrated that even moderate tiredness can impair a driver as much as being legally intoxicated.

Fatigue-related wrecks are significantly undercounted as there is no roadside exam or blood test for drowsiness, and drivers are often afraid to admit they were nodding off. However, with the increase in size of trucks along with the increase of hours on the road, until there is a change in policy, there will be more stories about the time a tractor-trailer truck driver fell asleep and crashed.

A sleepy, tired truck driver presents a danger to people and families on our roads today. In the Greenville SC I85 Truck Wreck discussed above, no other drivers were hurt, but the risk is real and clear.  Are you wanting more information, resources, or representation in a sleepy truck driver case in South Carolina? If you have been injured in a car accident involving a truck, contact Greenville SC truck accident attorney Thomas Creech to discuss your potential case. The case evaluation is free. Call 864-235-4999 or fill out our online contact form.