One year after a crash in California that left 13 dead and 30 others injured, authorities arrested the truck driver deemed to be responsible in Georgia. The truck driver put his truck in park when the freeway he was on was shut down in the early morning due to construction. He fell asleep. When the freeway reopened, the driver didn’t wake up and his truck remained stationery as traffic began zooming past. The dangerous situation ended in tragedy when a bus traveling at more than 75 mph slammed into the truck. The driver was arrested on vehicular manslaughter and gross negligence charges.
Truck drivers are supposed to sleep a certain number of hours for every day that they work, but authorities believe that the driver chose to keep driving through that time. The driver is believed to have violated federal regulations by driving too many hours and attempting to hide the violations by falsifying his daily driver’s log.
THE DANGERS OF FATIGUED DRIVING
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that there are roughly 72,000 accidents caused by drowsy driving each year, resulting in an estimated 41,000 injuries and more than 800 deaths. According to the NHTSA:
Drowsy driving is not just falling asleep at the wheel – it is impairment that in many ways mimics driving when drunk. Drowsiness leads to slower reaction times, and impaired attention, mental processing, judgment, and decision making. Drowsiness can occur from accumulating sleep debt (typically <6 hours a night) across multiple nights, or from only one night of not sleeping.
Crashes caused by fatigued truck drivers can happen anytime, but occur most frequently late at night or early in the morning. Research has also shown that young drivers are nearly twice as likely to be drowsy at the time of a crash. But the demographic most likely to drive drowsy are truck drivers, who are often pressured to work long hours at a time and drive multiple days in a week. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration limits the number of hours that truck drivers are allowed to be on the road each day and week; however it is all too common for truck drivers and trucking companies to ignore these regulations.
The United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has determined that the “risk, danger, and often tragic results of drowsy driving are alarming.” Shockingly, in a survey conducted by the CDC, 4% of drivers stated that they fell asleep behind the wheel in the past 30 days. Drivers should always make sure they have been getting enough sleep before going on long trips, and should prioritize remaining alert when on the road. Drowsy driving isn’t a risk worth taking. Remember, if you think you might be too sleepy to drive, you are almost certainly too sleepy to drive.
For More Information, Contact Williams Elleby
Williams Elleby, is dedicated to helping truck accident victims get justice. If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, Williams Elleby, can help you understand your legal rights and options. Call today to schedule a free consultation at 833-LEGALGA. You can also find more helpful information on the dangers of drowsy driving at http://drowsydriving.org.