You and many other California residents have likely woken up numerous times in your life wishing that you could get more sleep. While being able to roll over and keep your eyes shut for a few more minutes may have been possible on occasion, it is not a common luxury for individuals who have to get to work. Of course, even though you may not be able to sleep longer, it can still be dangerous to get behind the wheel of a car while feeling drowsy.
Unfortunately, drowsy driving affects numerous people traveling the roadways, and drowsy truck drivers are of a particular concern. You likely share the roads with big rigs on a regular basis, and it is possible that any of them could be suffering from fatigue.
A prevalent issue
Truck drivers have a higher risk of driving while drowsy because they spend long hours on the road and feel the need to reach their destinations as quickly as possible. Although regulations attempt to keep truck drivers from staying on the road too long or driving without adequate rest, it is not uncommon for truckers to bend the rules, in some cases with encouragement from their employers. Even if employers do not directly tell drivers to break the rules, they may offer benefits for drivers who make early deliveries.
At first, you may not think that driving while fatigued is that big of an issue because you likely have done it yourself without any negative consequences. However, drowsy driving has the potential of causing just as much harm as drunk driving. A drowsy driver has slower reaction times, a harder time concentrating on driving and could even fall asleep while behind the wheel. Any of these and other issues caused by drowsiness could quickly and easily contribute to a crash.
Were you injured?
If a drowsy truck driver does cause a crash, it is likely that the outcomes are catastrophic. Just the size and weight of an 18-wheeler can cause significantly more damage than other vehicles. If you end up in a car accident with a tractor-trailer, you will undoubtedly suffer serious injuries. Because the damage from such incidents can go far beyond physical injuries, you may find yourself struggling in many ways.
Fortunately, you can seek compensation for damages caused by a drowsy truck driver by filing a personal injury claim. Speaking with an attorney experienced in this area of law could help you understand your available options.