Drowsy Driving and Truck Accidents
Fatigue affects drivers in much the same way alcohol does. It slows reaction time, impairs motor skills, and disrupts the driver’s ability to make smart decisions. The AAA Foundation estimates that drowsy driving is to blame for around 16 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents in the U.S.
A sleepy driver behind the wheel of a passenger car or van is dangerous enough; when that driver is operating a 40-ton commercial tractor trailer, the impact of a crash can be catastrophic.
Trucking and Drowsy Driving
Working to meet tight deadlines and motivated by financial incentives for timely delivery, tractor trailer drivers often have grueling shifts. Driving these enormous rigs is physically and mentally exhausting, especially at night and along long, monotonous stretches of highway.
Trucking companies’ profits depend upon how quickly and frequently they can deliver products. As such, they may not adequately train or educate drivers about the risks of drowsy driving and the likelihood that it will lead to a serious truck accident. In 2017, drowsy driving accidents claimed nearly 800 lives.
Signs you May be Too Tired to Drive
Drowsy driving increases the risk of a serious or fatal crash. Moreover, like distracted and drunk driving, drowsy driving is entirely preventable. Yawning is one of the body’s ways of saying it is time for a nap. But the signs of fatigue are often much more subtle.
Drivers who know the signs of fatigue can avoid a preventable drowsy driving tragedy. It may be time for a nap if you:
- Are yawning or rubbing your eyes
- Cannot recall the last few miles driven
- Drift out of your lane or onto rumble strips
- Find yourself daydreaming or having trouble focusing
- Have trouble keeping your eyes open or head up
- Miss exits or turns
Some truck drivers think opening a window, blasting the radio, or drinking a strong cup of coffee are enough to combat sleepiness. However, the only real and safe antidote for fatigue is rest. If you notice you are getting drowsy, pull over to a safe location out of traffic and take a break.
Drowsy Driving Motor Vehicle Accidents
Truck drivers are required to log their driving hours and breaks. But when time off the clock means lower income or later delivery times, drivers may not take the breaks they need and are required to take per industry regulations.
Drivers who are impaired by sleepiness are a risk to themselves and others. If you have been injured in a truck accident caused by a drowsy driver, you may have cause to file a claim against the driver or their trucking company and to seek damages for the medical expenses and pain and suffering you are facing.
Piscataway Truck Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Pursue Damages for Victims of Drowsy Driving Crashes
Drowsy driving truck accidents do not have to happen. The traumatic injuries and lifelong pain and trauma they cause are preventable. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a truck accident caused by a negligent driver, enlist the experienced Piscataway truck accident lawyers to advocate for you. At the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr, we will gather crucial evidence from vehicle data collection systems, traffic cameras, and eye witnesses to prove the cause of the truck accident and increase your chance of a favorable outcome.
To learn more about your options after an accident, call 732-249-4600 or contact us online to schedule your free case consultation in our Highland Park office. We represent clients throughout the state of New Jersey including but not limited to New Brunswick, Somerset, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Middlesex, Fords, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.