Most of us occasionally suffer the effects of insomnia. If you have to go to work the next day, not getting enough sleep can have a definite impact on your job performance and productivity. For truck drivers in particular, though, a lack of rest and a poor night’s sleep can have disastrous consequences, making truck accidents more likely to occur. When these accidents do happen, there are situations in which the trucking companies as well as the truck driver can be held liable for injuries that occur.
The Effects of Drowsy Driving
Sleep deprivation can have dangerous impacts on your body. According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), when it comes to being behind the wheel, driving on a lack of sleep can have the same basic effects as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This includes:
- Slowed reaction times in responding to traffic and road conditions
- Easily distracted and a lack of attention span
- Blurred vision and problems with headlight glare or seeing double
- Inability to judge distances, both in terms of other vehicles determining vehicle lanes and traffic signals
- Lowered inhibitions, leading to poor decision making and an increase in dangerous driving behaviors
The NSF reports that going 18 hours without sleep has the same effect as driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .05, which is near the legal limit of .08 percent. Staying awake for a full 24 hours impacts your driving the same as if you had a BAC of .10 percent. Despite the obvious dangers, roughly 60 percent of all motorists claim to have driven while excessively tired or fatigued, and nearly a third of these admit to actually falling asleep behind the wheel.
Drowsy Driving and Trucking Accidents
Based on accident reports and investigations, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that in close to 20 percent of all truck accidents, lack of sleep is likely a significant factor. Drowsy driving can cause truck drivers to make the following types of potentially fatal driving errors:
- Problems staying in one lane
- Improper or erratic lane changing
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Failing to allow adequate stopping time
- Failing to yield to other vehicles
Truck drivers often face unreasonable schedules and quick turnaround times on trips in order to keep up with the demands of the companies they work for. When truck accidents occur as a result, the trucking company may also be held accountable through an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
A Truck Accident Attorney Is There to Help
If you are involved in this type of accident, contact the skilled personal injury lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis, IN. Trucking companies have a financial motive for denying or disputing your claim. They also typically have deep pockets with a team of lawyers and insurance claims adjusters on their side. A good lawyer will understand the tactics these companies often employ, and can provide you with the experienced, aggressive legal representation you need to get the compensation you are entitled to.
Thanks to Ward & Ward Law Firm for their insight into truck accidents that are caused due to fatigued drivers.