National Highway Traffic Safety Administration studies indicate that sleep deprivation is a factor in almost 100,000 motor vehicle accidents and 1,550 fatalities per year in the United States. Other studies suggest that fatigue or sleep deprivation could contribute to at least 30 to 40 percent of tractor-trailer crashes.
The federal government has launched an effort to address drowsy driving by truckers and passenger vehicle drivers, but has not yet introduced any new regulations beyond current restrictions on time behind the wheel and required sleep time for commercial drivers. Meanwhile, statistics show that more than 110,000 people are hurt and more than 5,000 die in the United States in motor vehicle accidents involving commercial trucks. There is no reliable way to know exactly how many of those accidents are due to drowsiness or sleep deprivation, but estimates claim that truck accidents partially or completely attributable to fatigue range from 1 to 56 percent. This wide range of estimates makes it clear that the problem is difficult to quantify if still very serious.
A large number of crashes involving trucks occur between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. While these statistics do not necessarily indicate that truck drivers who caused these accidents were sleep-deprived or fatigued, there is a greater chance that drivers may be impaired by fatigue during nighttime hours.
Drowsy driving by any driver, regardless of vehicle size, poses a significant danger to others on the road. However, tractor-trailers and other large commercial trucks are much more dangerous in drowsy-driving situations because of their size and weight. In a drowsy-driving accident, these large, heavy vehicles are much more likely to cause catastrophic and fatal injuries.
Furthermore, truck drivers are at heightened risk of drowsy driving because of the long hours they spend on the road. Even though regulations restrict how long per day they can drive, delivery deadlines can create pressure to bend the rules. And those rules clearly do not prevent drowsy driving, as truck drivers can be behind the wheel for 11 or 14 consecutive hours under certain circumstances. Such long hauls almost guarantee drowsy driving, even when the rules are scrupulously followed.
If you are injured in an accident involving a tractor-trailer or another drowsy driver in the Stamford area, you should explore your compensation options. If you believe that driver fatigue contributed to your accident involving a commercial truck, take advantage of a free case evaluation to determine if an attorney can help maximize your compensation for your injuries. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Piazza, Simmons & Grant can help. Please do not hesitate to contact our office by calling
(203) 348-2465 or by using our online contact form.