Driver error – or, more precisely – driving while excessively fatigued, is amongst the most common causes of crashes involving tractor trailers or other heavy commercial trucks.   And I never cease to be amazed at the frequency with which I see it, particularly in light of the extensive regulations which exist to try to prevent it from occurring.

Local news reports document what appears to be yet another example of a commercial driver making this bad decision to drive while excessively fatigued.  According to reports from KCBD in Lubbock, Texas, a semi-truck drove off an overpass on I-27 in New Deal, TX, spilling diesel fuel, oil and battery acid, and closing the adjacent roadway.  Fortunately, no injuries were reported, but a crash of this magnitude could have easily caused catastrophic or even fatal injury.  As it was, the Fire Chief for New Deal reported that the cleanup was a nightmare for emergency workers and caused thousands of dollars in damage to their personal protective equipment which was “contaminated” by “acid, diesel and oil” during the cleanup process.  The roadway involved was reportedly heavily damaged in the crash and is expected to be closed, at least partially, for weeks.  TxDOT representatives reportedly stated “they will not be able to assess the cost to roadways until all damage has been repaired.”  The precise cause of the crash is reportedly still under investigation but, according to KCBD reports, James Williams, the New Deal Chief of Police, “believes drowsy driving may have been a factor.”