Many factors contribute to the severity of the injuries someone may sustain when they are involved in a motor vehicle accident. Often, one of the most significant factors is the size of the vehicles involved in the collision.
Trucks and other such large commercial vehicles can do extremely serious damage when accidents occur. Truck accidents often claim the lives of those involved. Victims who survive such accidents may nevertheless be left with life-changing injuries, such as traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injuries that may result in paralysis.
Truck accidents occur for a number of reasons. Although trucking companies are required to only hire those who are qualified to operate these vehicles, sometimes, they are negligent. Operating a large commercial vehicle is far more difficult than operating a car, and some truckers lack the ability to maintain control over their vehicles when making turns or changing lanes.
However, lack of proper qualifications is not the only major cause of truck accidents. It’s often the case that truck accidents occur because drivers are too tired to operate their vehicles safely.
Driving while drowsy is more dangerous than many realize. According to the CDC, depending upon how long someone has been awake, drowsy driving is actually very similar to drunk driving.
Laws do exist regulating how long truckers can be on the road before taking a break. Unfortunately, many truckers ignore these laws.
This is not a baseless claim. Truckers themselves have reported feeling immense pressure to make deliveries on time. Many states they will go without sleep if it means sticking to their planned schedule.
It doesn’t help that high-ranking members of truckers’ advocacy groups have voiced resistance to stricter laws regulating the amount of sleep truckers must get before they can resume driving. Many have stated that the job of a trucker requires flexibility and that it is unfair to legally require a trucker to sleep when they feel they are alert enough to continue driving safely. Others have stated that because policing sleep is challenging, there is little point in enacting laws that establish the amount of sleep truckers should be expected to get.
That said, various technological advances may help curb this problem. Basic electronic logging devices can report how long a truck has been in operation to determine if a trucker has been behind the wheel longer than they are permitted to be by law. Some truckers have even begun to wear biometric sensors that let them know when they need rest. This is important, as those who have fallen asleep behind the wheel and been in accidents as a result often report they did not realize they were tired enough to fall asleep when their accidents occurred.
Regardless, if you have been harmed in an accident resulting from a trucker’s drowsy driving, you deserve to recover compensation for your medical bills and other such losses. Our truck accident attorneys at Colson Hicks Eidson can help you pursue said compensation. Learn more by contacting us online or calling us at 305-476-7400 to schedule your free initial consultation.