Godwin, Morris, Laurenzi & Bloomfield, P.C.

Negligent driving leads to trucker named a public safety hazard

Many lives are lost on roads nationwide, including in Tennessee, as the result of truck drivers and their employers violating safety regulations for commercial trucks. In June, negligent driving by a fatigued commercial truck driver caused an accident on Interstate 75 in Tennessee that involved several vehicles. Six people lost their lives in that accident.

The driver of the truck was recently issued an order by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that forbids him to operate commercial vehicles and declared him a public safety hazard. The driver's logs showed that he had been off duty for the 10 days preceding the horrific June accident. However, the vehicle's tracking device showed driving activity on the three days immediately before the multi-vehicle wreck.

Further investigations determined that the driver was involved in another accident in June 2013 and was cited for speeding in January 2015. On an employment application that required information about citations and accidents during the past three years, the driver omitted to provide this information. In May 2015, he failed a drug test that had been ordered by the court.

There is no excuse for exposing other motorists to such hazards, and Tennessee residents who have lost loved ones in commercial truck accidents that were caused by negligent driving by the truck operator are entitled to pursue compensation for end-of-life expenses and other documented losses. Wrongful death claims may be filed in a civil court. Along with the driver, the commercial trucking company who owns the truck and employs the driver can also be named as a defendant in such a claim.

Source: timesfreepress.com, "Truck driver in I-75 accident declared an imminent hazard to public safety", Evan Hoopfer, July 21, 2015

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