The Dangers Of Drowsy Truck Drivers

Drowsy driving accidents involving trucks are much more dangerous than those involving regular vehicles. There are hundreds of thousands of truck accidents happening every single year, with thousands of fatalities all across the US. And hundreds of them involve truck drivers that fall asleep behind the wheel or who are extremely fatigued.

The big problem is that drivers being fatigued or drowsy are severely underreported. If the driver does not admit he was tired, the police officer at the scene will not include this in the report. It often takes investigation from a truck accident attorney to discover something like this.

Laws Prevent Fatigued Truck Driving

An important thing to mention is that the entire trucking industry is not regulated at a federal level. This means specific laws exist that limit how many hours the truck driver is allowed to stay behind the wheel without taking off-duty time or breaks.

The FMCSA dictates that during a one week stretch, the truck driver is not allowed to drive over sixty to seventy hours. In addition, the driver needs to take a break of a half an hour ever every 8 consecutive hours of driving. Also, the truck driver cannot be on the road for more than eleven hours while on duty.

Besides these federal regulations, there are also state laws created to reduce the possibility that a truck driver will end up too tired to perform well. The big problem though is that trucking companies and truck drivers often do not respect these laws, which can easily lead to serious injuries and wrongful death cases.

What Do Tired Truck Drivers Often Cause?

After a truck accident, there are often disabling injuries and life-threatening injuries that appear, together with deaths. The very common injuries are:

  • Broken bones
  • Multiple fractures
  • Paralysis
  • Spinal cord, back, and neck injuries
  • Head injuries and TBI (traumatic brain injuries)
  • Amputations
  • Crushing injuries
  • Disfigurement
  • Severe burns
  • Internal bleeding

Besides injuries, several other damages can appear after truck accidents. The vehicles tend to be completely destroyed and victims also have to deal with pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and lost income, besides the obvious medical bills. Basically, drowsy truck driving can lead to disabilities that are going to permanently change the lives of the victims.

Who Is Responsible After Accidents Caused By Drowsy Truck Drivers?

Obviously, if the truck driver was drowsy and caused the incident, they do have liability. However, other parties can also share that liability. For instance, it is very common to have the trucking company as a party charged in lawsuits. Proving the drowsiness of the truck driver though is something very difficult without some sort of eyewitness testimony.

The good news is that experienced personal injury attorneys can prove drowsy truck driving by analyzing several factors that did contribute to the accident. For instance, a sudden swerve or running off the road is a sign of drowsy truck driving.

To put it as simple as possible, the truck accident attorney will look for specific evidence to show that the truck driver was drowsy and they caused the accident.

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