New information has become available on the Utah fuel tanker crash that occurred in the early morning hours of March 17, 2010 on Interstate 15 near Roy. According Deseret News reporters, the Utah Highway Patrol will be filing charges, with the Weber County Attorney’s office, against the semi truck driver that include possession of drug paraphernalia and lane travel violation. The UHP confirms that drowsy driving is the cause of this Utah semi truck accident. Authorities are waiting on the toxicology report to confirm whether the semi truck driver was high on drugs at the time of the accident. If positive, the truck driver will face criminal charges as the state of Utah aggressively pursues drug and alcohol laws especially when they deal with motorist safety.
According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration, driver drowsiness is the major contributing cause of 80% motor vehicle collisions nationwide.
Public Costs of Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving substantially increases the risk of causing a catastrophic car accident. The damages that result are many. Most often the injuries that result from drowsy driving are catastrophic and even fatal. It is a miracle nobody else was hurt in yesterday’s semi truck accident in Utah. Also, road blocks and investigations are intensive for these kinds of Utah car accidents which cause traffic congestion or standstills for hours. Thirdly, Drowsy driving accidents usually involve one vehicle striking a median, guard rail, building or another vehicle which results in thousands of dollars in property damage. When large trucks are involved the damage can result in millions of dollars. UDOT spokesman Vic Saunders confirmed that in yesterday’s semi truck accident, a 25 feet long section of the freeway had to be replaced. “The asphalt tends to be eaten up by the diesel spill and now the road is unstable,” Saunders reported. This is not good news to Utah tax payers who are a main contributor to Utah’s road maintenance.