Driver fatigue is a major problem amongst commercial drivers, and it presents a significant hazard to everyone using the roadways. Reports from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) indicate that the vast majority of accidents involving commercial trucks in the United States arise from driver error. And, as I pointed out in my recent blog, a study called the “Large Truck Crash Causation Study” reported that 13 percent of crashes involve fatigued driving.
Recent headlines are now providing a clear example of just how dangerous this problem this. Gary Golay, a 55 year old Ohio trucker, is now reportedly facing 12 separate charges, including reckless homicide and involuntary manslaughter, in connection with a July 2012 crash which killed a 4 year old girl on US Highway 30 in Indiana. The charges levied against Mr. Golay include a charge of “false informing”, due to allegations that he falsified important records, including his driver’s log and duty status records, for the week leading up to the crash.
Golay was reportedly driving beyond the federally mandated hours of service limits, when his tractor-trailer crashed into 4 other vehicles, including the minivan in which the young girl was riding as a passenger.