Drivers who take the wheel of large commercial vehicles arguably have an even a greater responsibility to ensure they are in the proper physical condition to operate these powerful vehicles. Some Tennessee residents have likely seen a truck accident that stemmed from the fact that the driver is either exhausted or not experienced enough to handle a vehicle of that size.
Last year, the driver of a vehicle similar in size to a commercial tractor-trailer made some extremely dangerous decisions when he got behind the wheel of a bus. The tired driver lost control of his enormous vehicle, and it resulted in a high-profile crash that killed four people and injured many others last year.
The crash happened out of state but was heavily publicized in the national media due to the gross negligence involved. A driver was hauling a busload of passengers as he fought to stay awake. Despite his efforts of pounding energy drinks and coffee to stay awake, passengers recall him driving erratically as he struggled to stay conscious and alert. The driver finally nodded off at the wheel, sending the bus off the road, resulting in the deadly accident.
The driver was recently in court, where he was convicted of four counts of involuntary manslaughter. These are charges that could land the man in prison for up to 40 years. The judge in the case said he has to convict the man of the charges because the evidence showed that he was grossly negligent in trying to drive so many passengers on so little sleep. He will be sentenced in early 2013.
This is a scene that tragically plays out all too often among drivers of buses and trucks. There are federal and state regulations that apply to these types of drivers, and when these rules are not followed, serious accidents can happen. When a driver gets behind the wheel of his or her big rig without proper rest, they put everyone on the road in danger.