Richardson Fatigue Truck Accident Lawyer
The average adult needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Unfortunately, 1 in 3 adults is chronically short on sleep. Feeling tired all the time can affect your mood and harm your health. But did you know fatigue also causes truck accidents?
Studies show that drowsy driving is just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A truck driver who falls asleep behind the wheel can do serious damage. But even when you’re just a little sleepy, you could still cause a fatal accident.
When a tired truck driver causes a collision, it’s known as a fatigue accident. Unfortunately, fatigue accidents are common among truckers. In places like Richardson, TX, fatigue accidents account for many injuries and deaths.
Did a fatigued truck driver hit your vehicle? If so, seek legal assistance right away. Fatigue accidents caused by truck drivers are often difficult to handle on your own. Our lawyers have years of experience helping drivers like you recover from these truck accidents. We’ll help you fight for your rights.
Call (214) 740-4556 to speak to a Richardson truck accident lawyer today. You can also schedule an appointment online. Consultations are always free. Best of all, we won’t charge for our legal services unless we win your case.
The Main Causes of Fatigue Accidents
Fatigued truck driving is sadly common. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 40% of drivers admit to falling asleep behind the wheel at least once in their lifetime. This contributes to some frightening statistics.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that fatigue causes 328,000 collisions annually. This includes 109,000 injuries and 6,400 fatalities. Additionally, experts believe that drowsy driving results in $109 billion worth of damages each year.
The worst part is that most of these accidents involving trucks are preventable. Here are the main factors that contribute to fatigued truck driving:
- Not Getting Enough Sleep: There are many reasons why people don’t get enough sleep. Whether you stay up too late, toss and turn all night, or experience full insomnia, you could be too drowsy to drive the next day.
- Adjusting to a New Schedule: Most of us have a normal sleep schedule. Our bodies are used to falling asleep and waking up at a certain hour. If your schedule has changed — for example, if you need to wake up earlier for a new job — it takes time to adjust. Until you’re used to your new schedule, your sleep may suffer. This can lead to early morning or late night exhaustion, which causes fatigue truck accidents.
- New Medications: Many medications induce drowsiness as a side-effect. If you’ve just started a new prescription, it may affect your energy levels and concentration. Don’t drive until you know how your body reacts to a new medication.
- Working Extra Long Shifts: Finally, some truckers take extra shifts. Even if you take breaks, a double-shift can leave you exhausted. If you work evenings, it may impact your sleep schedule. EMTs, delivery drivers, truckers, and other occupations are prone to fatigue due to overworking.
How Fatigue Impacts Driving Ability
Sleep deprivation affects brain chemistry. When you’re tired, communication between brain cells becomes slower and weaker. People are often sluggish and clumsy when they’re exhausted. Fatigue also worsens memory, concentration, and motor skills.
In other words, a fatigued truck driver cannot control their vehicle as well as an alert driver. Fatigued truck driving is just as hazardous as drunk driving. Operating a truck with only 4 hours of sleep is equivalent to driving with a 0.08% blood alcohol concentration.
When you are tired, your decision-making is worse. An exhausted trucker could misjudge stopping distance and cause a rear-end collision. They could also endanger others by driving too slow or speeding. Often, fatigued truck drivers break traffic laws without realizing that their driving is reckless.
Fatigue impacts a truck driver’s vision, too. They could experience difficulty focusing their eyes on the road or fuzzy vision. A tired driver could also miss traffic signs or fail to see another truck, car, or pedestrian.
Additionally, tired truck drivers are distracted more easily. They could cause an accident by focusing on their phone, radio, or a passenger. Distracted driving is dangerous for everyone. However, if you’re exhausted, you’re even more likely to crash in these circumstances.
Exhaustion is also known to reduce coordination. Your physical reaction time becomes slower when you haven’t slept. As a result, a fatigued driver could lose control of their truck. Even if they see a hazard in the road, they may not be able to stop or steer away in time to avoid it.
Finally, fatigue may cause a dangerous condition known as microsleeping. Microsleeping occurs when a tired driver “nods off” behind the wheel. Although their eyes may only close for a moment, this is still plenty of time to cause a truck accident.
Consider this: a truck traveling at 55 mph will move approximately 80 feet in one second. That’s enough distance to crash into another vehicle, drive off the road, or hit a pedestrian. According to AAA, microsleeping is so hazardous that it accounts for 16.5% of fatal accidents.
What to Do After a Fatigue Accident
Were you in a fatigue accident involving a truck? Sometimes, it’s difficult to prove when a driver is exhausted. It may not be easy to determine that they fell asleep. However, fatigue causes reckless or negligent driving. The truck driver’s behavior will still place them at fault.
If a tired truck driver crashes into your car, call 911 to report the accident. Check for injuries and request medical assistance if needed. Collect the truck driver’s name, insurance information, and (if applicable) employer information. Then, if it’s safe, take detailed photos and videos of the scene.
After you document the truck crash, call an accident lawyer. Our Richardson law office can help you fight for your rights. We’ll determine how much compensation you could receive. We’ll also develop a unique legal strategy for your case.
Don’t let a fatigue accident involving a truck ruin your life. You deserve compensation to help cover medical bills and other expenses after a crash. Call our lawyers now at (214) 740-4556 for your free consultation.