Allen Fatigue Driver Truck Accident Lawyer
Fatigued driving has dangerous consequences. It’s also more common than you may realize. Almost one-quarter of all adult drivers have fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once in their lifetime. When trucks are involved in accidents caused by fatigue, the situation can be fatal.
When a truck driver falls asleep and causes a collision, it’s considered an accident caused by fatigue. However, drivers don’t have to pass out completely to trigger an accident caused by fatigue. Simply being too tired can cause an accident because the driver’s reflexes slow down. A common phenomenon called “microsleeping” also causes accidents among truck drivers.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), fatigued driving is just as risky as driving under the influence. A tired trucker may experience impaired judgment, vision problems such as poor depth perception, and other physical symptoms that affect their ability to control their vehicle. They may cause severe accidents with other drivers.
In the aftermath of an accident caused by fatigue with a truck, victims may be injured or killed. If you have been involved in a crash with a fatigued truck driver, you may be eligible for a legal settlement.
Contact us online or dial (214) 305-8277 to discuss your legal rights with an Allen, TX accident lawyer. Consultations are 100% free. Our lawyers will get to the bottom of your accident caused by fatigue case and advise you about the next steps. There’s no risk to you. If we take your case and lose, you won’t pay for our services. Call now.
Accident Caused by Fatigue Statistics in Texas
The average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. Unfortunately, 1 in 3 adults doesn’t get enough sleep. Stress, health problems like heart disease and diabetes, and demanding work schedules are among the most common causes of poor sleep.
Being short on sleep may seem harmless. However, if you’re too tired when you get behind the wheel, you can cause an accident. The National Safety Council found that drivers who stayed awake for 20 hours or more experienced impairments equivalent to a 0.08% blood alcohol level.
In Texas, drowsy driving is a leading cause of car and truck accidents. In 2016, 22% of all sleep-related fatalities occurred in the Lone Star State. Over 1 in 5 deadly accidents in Texas involved a fatigued driver.
Approximately two-thirds of deaths from accidents caused by fatigue involved a stationary object. This means that tired truckers are more likely to drift off the road and crash into a rail, a tree, a parked car, or another object. However, the percentage of accidents involving other drivers is still alarming.
When a fatigued truck driver gets into an accident with another car, they cause the following types of collisions:
- Head-on collisions
- Rear-end collisions
- Side-impact collisions (also known as a broadside or “t-bone” collision)
- Sideswipe collisions
Often, these collisions become rollover accidents. This occurs when the truck’s impact causes your vehicle to tilt, lose traction, and flip over. Rollover accident victims may suffer serious injuries. Rollover accident fatalities are also common.
Why Truck Drivers Are Involved in Accidents Caused by Fatigue
Work is a leading cause of driver fatigue. Certain jobs are more likely to push drivers past their physical and emotional limits. Truck driving is one of the worst professions for disrupting a person’s normal sleep cycle.
Legally, truck drivers are not allowed to drive for more than 14 consecutive hours. Drivers are required to take regular 10-hour breaks to sleep. Unfortunately, these breaks may be scheduled at odd hours when the driver isn’t tired. Some drivers also intentionally shorten their breaks — or skip them — if they need to meet a tight deadline.
Many truck drivers drive very late at night. They may also be required to wake up very early in the morning. Most accidents caused by fatigue occur at these hours. Darkness can make a drowsy driver more likely to fall completely asleep.
The Danger of “Microsleeps”
Some fatigued truck drivers cause accidents when they underestimate their exhaustion. This occurs due to a phenomenon known as “microsleeping.” Microsleeping happens when a driver experiences a brief, involuntary lapse in consciousness. Their eyes shut, then snap open again moments later. A microsleep can be as short as one second or as long as 30 seconds.
When a truck driver experiences microsleep, they can cause disastrous accidents. A truck driving at 60mph travels approximately 88 feet in one second. While this may not sound like a long distance, 88 feet is more than enough road to cause multiple collisions. Microsleeping for even a moment can injure or kill.
Microsleeping can also be a very disorienting experience. A truck driver who falls asleep unexpectedly may become startled when they wake up again. They may brake suddenly or grip the wheel too tightly and lose control of their truck. This hazardous driving can cause other drivers to swerve dangerously or cause a pileup.
Accident Caused by Fatigue Injuries
Accident victims may suffer serious, lasting injuries after a collision with a truck. These injuries may require surgeries, rehabilitation, and impact the victim’s ability to work. Sadly, some accident caused by fatigue victims cannot live a normal life. They may also accrue significant medical debt.
Common accident caused by fatigue injuries include:
- Head and brain injuries
- Neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Internal bleeding and damage to internal organs
- Cuts, bruises, and broken bones
- Severe burns
- Psychological trauma, such as PTSD
These accidents also result in death. In Texas, confirmed accidents caused by fatigue killed 159 people in 2016.
Proving Liability in an Accident Caused by Fatigue
How do you prove liability in an accident caused by fatigue involving a truck driver? This may seem like a complicated question. If the other driver doesn’t admit they fell asleep or experienced fatigued, you may be unable to prove it.
However, you can usually prove who’s at fault based on the circumstances of the accident impact. Where did the truck hit your vehicle? Did they change lanes illegally or exhibit other reckless behavior before the impact? An accident lawyer can look at the facts of your case and determine liability.
For more information about accidents caused by fatigue cases involving trucks, contact our Allen legal team today. Our attorneys are happy to assist you. Call (214) 305-8277 to schedule your free consultation.