NTSB Investigation Determines that Truck Driver Fatigue to Blame in Fatal 2009 Crash

By Peter DePaolis

Though tractor trailers are involved in fewer accidents each year (approximately half a million) than regular cars (over six million), the results are usually more catastrophic due to the size of the trucks. Tractor trailer accidents kill around 5,000 each year, and almost all deaths in such accidents involve the other drivers and passengers. Rarely do truck accidents injure the truck driver. If negligent truck driving has harmed you, you may wish to contact a Washington, D.C. truck accident lawyer to determine if you are entitled to compensation.

The Washington, D.C.-based National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) recently released its report on a deadly tractor trailer crash that occurred during the 2009 summer. The NTSB found that the driver of the tractor trailer was likely suffering from driver fatigue when he crashed into a row of cars on the highway and killed 10 people. He began driving at 3 a.m. on the day of the accident on less than five hours of sleep. The driver eventually pled guilty to negligent homicide.

In addition to the driver, the NTSB faulted the trucking company that employed the man. The driver had previously reported excessive daytime sleepiness and mild sleep apnea, a sleeping disorder that impairs breathing. Additionally, the company did not have a formal policy to handle driver fatigue, and its only training video on the subject was fourteen years old.

To learn more about tractor trailer accidents and other types of vehicle accidents, contact David M. Schloss, a Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney, at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.