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Was driver fatigue cause of chain-reaction crash on I-70?

Two fatal truck accidents in the last month, including one here in Indiana and another out in New Jersey, have the nation talking about federal regulations regarding the trucking industry and whether drivers are actually adhering to the driving-time restrictions or not. It’s sparked a debate across the United States pitting the trucking industry against people who feel there might be a safety issue.

If you have been following the news lately then you likely heard about the fatal truck accident that claimed the lives of two elderly Minnesota residents and injured their teenage granddaughter when their SUV was rear ended by a semi-truck along Interstate 70. The crash took place about 35 miles east of Indianapolis when the SUV slowed for construction. Reports indicate that the truck driver may not have realized that traffic was stopped when it hit the SUV and caused it to strike another big rig.

Much like the fatal truck accident that seriously injured SNL comedian Tracy Morgan, investigators here in Indiana are considering the possibility that driver fatigue might have been a factor in this particular crash. As you may not know, the trucking industry has to adhere to federal regulations that dictate how long a truck driver can operate a vehicle before they must take a rest break. If the driver in this case failed to adhere to these regulations then they, or the trucking company for whom they are employed, could be held liable in future litigation.

Though it’s unknown if the accident victims’ family intends on taking legal action at this time, it’s worth noting that they may be entitled to compensation. Of course, as with most personal injury cases, they may want to wait until after police finish their investigation so that they know who can be held liable for the crash.

Source: The Star Tribune, “’Miracle' girl survives crash that killed New Brighton grandparents,” Paul Walsh, June 23, 2014

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