Drowsy drivers are one of the biggest causes of large truck accidents. The NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) estimates that an annual average of over 100,000 accidents can be attributed to drivers who doze off behind the wheel. As many as 1500 deaths and 40,000 injuries can be linked to drowsy driving.
Semi-truck drivers and truck drivers tend to spend an average of eleven hours on the road every day. Tight schedules and high pressure to meet deadlines imposed by the trucking company cause some drivers to cut corners and skip their required breaks – even when feeling tired after long periods behind the wheel. Sometimes, these behaviors can be encouraged by the trucking companies, pressuring drivers to skew or misrepresent their sleeping schedules in an effort to maximize the time spent on the road. If you are injured because of a truck driver’s carelessness you have the right to sue to recover compensation.
What are Some Hidden Causes of Drowsiness and How Can Uncovering Them Help My Case?
This is especially concerning, not just for semi-truck drivers but for other drivers on the road, as stats show that in 98% of the collisions involving a semi-truck and a passenger vehicle, the crash proves to be fatal for the smaller vehicle. Besides long hours behind the wheel, about 25% of truck drivers suffer from sleep apnea – a condition that causes or aggravates daytime drowsiness. These two conditions coupled with countless hours of monotonous highway driving can dull the senses and increase the risk of a semi-truck driver falling asleep behind the wheel – often with catastrophic results. What if you, with an experienced lawyers help, could prove these factors caused your accident? A positive outcome could be much more likely, but you have to know what to look for.
What Rights Do You Have After an Accident Involving a Truck?
If you have been injured in an accident involving a truck, or if a loved one has been killed in a fatal crash with a semi-truck, and the driver alleged drowsiness as the cause of the accident, you probably have several questions. In order to file an insurance claim or seek further compensation for economic and non-economic damages, the most important thing you will need to do is to establish that the other party – the truck driver and/or the trucking company – was at fault. You will also want to hire an experienced personal injury attorney that can help you define who is responsible for the accident and what types of damages you may be able to recover.
Can an Attorney Help Fight the Responsible Parties?
If you suspect the truck driver was drowsy or fell asleep at the time of the accident, your attorney may want to conduct an independent investigation to look into the driver’s schedule and get a clear picture of how long the driver had been on the road and whether that driver was following the regulations imposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation regarding mandatory rest periods. Truck accident claims can be complex and there is no reason why you should attempt to handle it all on your own. Contact the Johnson Law Firm, PC to get a free case evaluation and to initiate your truck accident claim. There is no charge unless we win your case.