According to information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, drowsy driving causes nearly 100,000 crashes annually. These accidents caused by driver fatigue resulted in 71,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths in 2017. And when it comes to truckers operating their big-rigs while tired, the consequences can be devastating.
Drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence. From impaired reaction time to an increased chance of driver error, several risks are associated with truckers staying on the road too long.
If you’ve sustained injuries in a truck wreck, contact our Ohio personal injury attorneys at Rumizen Weisman. Our team of injury lawyers in Ohio is here to help you in your time of need after you’ve suffered in a collision that’s occurred through no fault of your own.
How Drowsy Driving Causes Delayed Reaction Time and Driver Error
When a trucker drives after being awake for 17 or more hours, they’ve adversely affected their reaction time. In fact, these drowsy drivers are similar to those who are legally drunk. These effects of tired driving only worsen at night. Operating a vehicle after sundown increases drowsiness, especially if a driver has been on the road for several hours at a time. Additionally, the risk of an accident further increases when truckers sleep less than seven hours in the previous 24 hours.
Truck accidents are already more likely to occur at nighttime, with most crash fatalities countrywide occurring after sundown. Despite the fact that there is less traffic on the road, truckers are more prone to drive through the night in order to meet deadlines.
Needless to say, drowsy driving also increases the risk of driver error. More than one in three drivers has fallen asleep at least once while driving, making car accidents much more likely. Drowsy drivers drifting in and out of sleep may cross into other lanes or drive off the road.
Some drowsy drivers even experience a phenomenon known as micro-sleep, defined as short, involuntary instances of inattention. A driver may experience micro-sleep for only 4 to 5 seconds, but at highway speeds, vehicles travel the length of a football field in this short time.
Over the past five years, drowsy drivers contributed to approximately 20% of all fatal crashes due to driver error.
Reckless Driving in Truckers
Furthermore, lack of sleep can cause aggressive driving. Drowsy truck drivers are more susceptible to road rage and impatience on the road. This impatience translates to aggressive, error-filled driving. Impatient drivers may speed and disregard traffic signals or hours of service limits.
These impaired truck drivers are also more prone to confrontations with others on the road since fatigue can cause irritation and irrational anger.
Furthermore, drivers suffering from a lack of sleep aren’t able to sustain attention to the road and drowsy driving decreases a driver’s awareness of road hazards, contributing to errors, and serious accidents. A driver who is driving while sleepy is liable to cause accidents resulting in severe injuries.
Truck Accident Attorney in Ohio
The consequences of drowsy driving can be deadly. Don’t drive if you feel tired.
However, if you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a truck wreck, consulting an experienced attorney can help make your recovery as smooth and stress-free as possible. Contact our Ohio truck accident lawyers at Rumizen Weisman today. Call (216) 777-5756 24/7 for a free consultation and legal aid.