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John Bisnar
John Bisnar
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Fatigue factor in trucking accidents

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5000 people are killed in truck-related accidents every year.

When that chartered bus, carrying the baseball team from Ohio’s Bluffton University, went over a Georgia highway overpass recently, 6 baseball players on that bus died, and 29 were injured, but Danny Lloyd escaped-even though the chartered bus hit his truck. At 57, Danny Lloyd, a retired, disabled, Vietnam veteran has experienced a lot in life. “I’ve had just about everything they could throw at me, thrown at me. But, it’s the first time a bus jumped off the interstate at me”, Lloyd said.

Lloyd had been in Ohio to visit his 26 year-old son, and because he liked to drive at night, he left Cincinnati about midnight, and ten miles outside of Atlanta he stopped to gas up his truck. Lloyd was traveling on Interstate 75 when, after emerging from under the overpass, he saw something dropping from the sky. Initially, Lloyd said he thought he saw some concrete falling, likely from a decaying bridge…..that was until part of the chartered bus hit his roof and windshield, then hitting and tearing off his front bumper.

Lloyd thinks it just wasn’t his day to die, and after two tours in Nam he should know. Philosophizing, Lloyd said, “It all makes a vicious circle. You gotta be born, and you gotta die sometime.”

Truck and bus drivers often suffer from not only a lack of sleep, but demanding schedules, which force them to continue to drive when it is unsafe to do so. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), after performing a new analysis of data for the proposed hours of service rule, found that fatigue directly contributes to about 15 percent of all fatal trucking accidents.

While investigators are still pouring over the evidence in this bus accident, it is believed that the driver was fairly fresh and it seems at this time that he either didn’t notice or was confused by what he thought was only an HOV lane, which is especially strange because players indicated that this driver had carried the players to tournament in the past-taking the same route. Both the driver and his wife were killed in the crash, when the chartered bus drove into, and over the overpass, landing below in the traffic lanes.

The Truck Safety Coalition indicates that over 5000 people are killed in truck-related accidents every year, and that fatigue has been, and continues to be a major factor in these fatalities .