When keeping a tight schedule and juggling multiple job responsibilities, it is easy to get off track in terms of your sleep schedule. Unfortunately, in addition to having negative effects on your overall physical and mental health, it can also increase your accident risks. For truck drivers, drowsy driving is a major concern and a leading cause of truck accidents and injuries. Big rig crashes and collisions often end up impacting other motorists on the road and it is important to be aware of the risks.
Raising Awareness About Drowsy Driving
Each year, more than 100,000 accidents are reported as being caused by drowsy drivers, though with no accurate way of testing the actual figure is likely much higher. Truck drivers are at an increased risk. Being overly tired has many of the same effects as driving impaired when it comes to driver safety. Common impacts truck drivers are likely to suffer by missing even a few hours sleep include:
- Watery eyes, seeing double, and other vision disturbances
- Decreased coordination, which can impact steering and braking skills
- Slowed reactions, making it harder to respond to unexpected events
- Impaired judgment, leading to dangerous mistakes and miscalculations
- Increases the odds of falling asleep behind the wheel.
According to studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving is directly responsible for nearly 20 percent of all truck accidents. In crashes involving adverse weather and situations in which reckless behaviors such as speeding, disregarding traffic signals, and distracted driving were to blame, being tired was likely a contributing factor as well.
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Who Is to Blame for Truck Accidents Caused by Drowsy Driving?
When truck accidents happen due to excessive fatigue on the part of the driver or falling asleep behind the wheel, it is often other motorists on the road that suffer the most serious harm. In filing a claim seeking compensation for your damages, there may be multiple parties responsible.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that trucking companies bear some of the blame for truck accidents. Company policies that can make drowsy driving-related truck accidents more likely to happen include:
- Requiring overly heavy schedules, with not enough days off or time spent at home;
- Demanding deadlines, requiring trucks to drive all night to make deliveries;
- Not allowing adequate time for rest breaks and meals;
- Overloading drivers with responsibilities, including loading, unloading, and truck maintenance, when they are already tired.
Contact a Virginia Truck Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a truck accident caused by a negligent or reckless truck driver, contact a seasoned Virginia truck accident attorney. Truck accidents can be more complex than other types of motor vehicle accidents because depending on the circumstances of the crash, there may be multiple parties who are liable for a victim’s injuries.
Our Virginia personal injury law firm has successfully represented many clients who were injured in truck accidents and will use all available resources to aggressively advocate for you and your family in obtaining the financial compensation you deserve.