A Missouri tractor-trailer accident sent three people to the hospital and closed all westbound lanes of I-44 in Fenton, Missouri last week. According to police, a chain-reaction crash began when one tractor-trailer failed to stop for traffic that had begun to back up, slamming into a Honda Accord. That first crash then caused two other vehicles, including a second tractor-trailer, to wreck.
Two drivers, a 32-year-old man and a 69-year-old woman, were taken to a local hospital with serious injuries. Another female driver and the 21-year-old driver of the first tractor-trailer were taken to the hospital with more moderate injuries.
Though police say they are continuing to investigate the accident have no idea what may have caused the first tractor-trailer operator to crash into the back of the stopped passenger vehicle, a frequent cause of such accidents is a truck driver's lack of sleep. All too often exhausted truckers who are forced to drive longer and farther than they safely should make mistakes that end up killing or wounding other innocent motorists.
A new study recently discussed in the New York Times involves an analysis done by Australian researchers who found that long-haul truck drivers who drink coffee or consume other caffeinated drinks are substantially less likely to have an accident than others who do not consume caffeine. Researchers compared one group of more than 500 truck drivers who had been involved in a trucking accident in the last year and compared them with another group who had not.
Scientists interviewed the truckers and asked questions about their health, driving behavior and lifestyle issues. The data showed that drivers who consumed caffeine regularly were a whopping 63 percent less likely to be involved in a truck accident than those who did not.
Though the huge decline in accident rates is an important discovery, researchers and safety advocates have been quick to explain that caffeine is not the answer to road safety problems involving dangerous tractor-trailers. Caffeine can help people stay away in the short-term, but does not really address the much deeper underlying problem of repeated sleep deprivation. Researchers were clear that caffeine is a quick fix and that it is simply not sustainable to go without sleep for long stretches. That means that trucking companies and truck drivers need to find ways to ensure that cargo is delivered on time without compromising the mental focus that is needed to safely navigate the nation's highways and interstates.
The St. Louis truck accident attorneys can provide the skilled legal representation needed by those who have been involved in a car, truck or motorcycle accident. For information on how to protect your legal rights if you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an accident, call us today at 314-863-0500.
Source: "Accident Shutdowns Westbound Lanes Of I-44 In Fenton For Several Hours," by Joe Millitizer, published at Fox2Now.com.
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