Flower Mound Fatigued Driver Truck Accident Lawyer
Wake up! Did you know that fatigued drivers caused an estimated 91,000 car crashes in 2017 alone? Driving while tired might not sound dangerous. However, driving while fatigued can actually be just as risky as driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol, especially for truck drivers.
Fatigued truck driving is a serious problem in Texas and elsewhere in the United States. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), almost half of all adult drivers get behind the wheel when they’re tired. 40% of drivers admitted to even falling asleep while driving at least once since getting their driver’s license.
Fatigued truck drivers pose a danger to themselves and anyone else on the road. In 2017, there were 795 deaths related to fatigued driver car and truck accidents. Yet the real number may be even higher because fatigue can be difficult to measure. Often, fatigued truck drivers are also distracted or impaired.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a fatigued truck driver, contact our Flower Mound, TX accident lawyers today. Call (214) 305-8277 or use our online contact form to schedule your 100% free, 100% confidential consultation. Our truck accident lawyers can help you understand your rights. You may be eligible for compensation.
Fatigued Truck Driver Dangers
Health experts recommend that all adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Yet 1 in 3 Americans are chronically under-slept. Whether it’s due to demanding work schedules, stress, poor diet, or other factors, the quality of sleep in our culture has declined in recent decades. Even people who get a full night’s rest often feel groggy in the morning.
Not getting enough sleep can contribute to numerous health problems, from diabetes and heart disease to Alzheimer’s. Yet many people don’t realize the danger it poses to motorists, especially truck drivers. Drowsy driving claims lives. If a driver is fatigued, they are three times more likely to be in a car or truck accident.
When fatigued, a truck driver’s reaction time becomes much slower. They also experience reduced physical coordination. If there’s a hazard in the road, the fatigued driver may not be able to respond in time. They may crash or lose control of their truck.
Additionally, fatigue affects a truck driver’s judgment and vision. Studies indicate that a driver who only gets four hours of sleep or less experiences a level of impairment that’s equivalent to driving with a 0.08% blood alcohol level.
A fatigued truck driver can’t make fast decisions. They may cause a truck accident by misjudging their speed, forgetting to use their turn signal, or miscalculating their distance to another vehicle.
Causes of Fatigued Truck Driver Accidents
Our sleep cycle is governed by an internal clock known as a circadian rhythm. Our circadian rhythm tells us when to be active, and when to wind down for sleep. Unfortunately, it’s easy to disrupt this rhythm. Factors like stress, caffeine, electronic lights, and nighttime work schedules can negatively impact our sleep cycle.
Commercial truck drivers, delivery van drivers, and overnight shift-workers are more likely to be involved in fatigued driver accidents. Although these individuals may feel like they’ve adapted to their schedules, working long hours or working overnight still takes a toll on the body. Truck drivers in particular are prone to fatigue accidents.
Many drowsy driving crashes happen on rural roads and highways. At night, these roads are darker, so it’s easier to nod off. However, even during the day, an open expanse of Texas highway can lull a tired truck driver to sleep.
Often, fatigued driver accidents involving trucks are caused by a unique physiological phenomenon known as “microsleeping.” Microsleeping occurs when a fatigued individual loses consciousness for a very brief period, from a fraction of a second to 10 full seconds. When a driver experiences microsleeping, it can come on very suddenly — their eyes droop shut against their best efforts.
Unfortunately, even a short microsleep can cause serious damages. A car or truck moving at 55 mph will travel approximately 80 feet in one second. That’s plenty of room for a microsleeping truck driver to crash into another vehicle.
Also, some fatigued drivers cause accidents after they wake up from a microsleep. The experience of losing consciousness can be very jarring, causing the truck driver to brake suddenly or grab the wheel before they realize what’s going on. This sudden maneuvering can cause the car to spin out of control and crash into other vehicles.
Finally, many fatigued driver accidents happen on long trips. Even if you’re well-rested and used to driving every day, a cross-country trip with multiple hours on the road can be exhausting. A truck driver may cause a collision if they’re too fatigued to keep going but push past their limits.
How to Prevent Fatigued Driver Accidents
Although fatigued driver accidents involving trucks can have deadly consequences, the good news is that these collisions are preventable. Many new cars and trucks are equipped with revolutionary safety technology designed to prevent fatigued driver accidents.
This includes drowsiness alerts and lane departure warnings, which can alert a driver if their car or truck begins to drift into another lane. If your vehicle has these safety features, make sure they’re enabled at all times.
Additionally, getting more sleep can reduce your drowsy driving truck accident risk. If you’re not getting a good night’s rest, try bumping your bedtime an hour earlier. You can also get better quality sleep by reducing caffeine and alcohol consumption in the evenings.
If you’re going on a road trip, plan your route around several rest stops or overnight stays. It can also help to drive with a family member or friend. You can take turns driving so you don’t get too tired behind the wheel.
But what if a fatigued truck driver causes an accident and hits you? If you’re involved in a truck accident with a fatigued driver, you may be eligible for compensation. The trucker will most likely be held liable. Even if you can’t prove they nodded off at the wheel, the angle of the impact will indicate that they instigated the collision.
If you have any concerns after a fatigued driver accident involving a truck, call (214) 305-8277 to speak to one of our lawyers. Consultations are completely free. If we take your case, you won’t be billed unless we help you win.