San Antonio Truck Accident Attorneys Take on Drowsy Drivers
Self-reported studies indicate that up to half of long-haul drivers have taken a doze while on a long-haul journey. A fully loaded semi-truck traveling down the road with a dozing driver at the wheel is an 80,000 pound unguided missile that can cause serious injury or death to anyone in its path. When a truck driver falls asleep at the wheel, San Antonio truck accident attorneys take them to court.
Fatigue is as Deadly as Drinking
Studies conducted by Stanford University have shown that fatigue can be as deadly as drinking and driving. A fatigued driver has a slowed reaction time that's equivalent to someone who has a .08 Blood Alcohol Content. This can slow a driver's reaction time down by a quarter second or more.
The NTSB estimates that approximately 1,500 drivers or their passengers are killed, and a further 40,000 are injured by drowsy drivers. These statistics are aligned with those seen by San Antonio truck accident attorneys
who represent victims of drowsy driving accidents.
Federal Rules Help, but Don't Stop the Problem
To reduce the number of fatigued truck drivers traveling down the road, the Department of Transportation implemented rules in 2013 that reduce the maximum amount of hours a driver can operate a semi-truck from 82 to 70 hours per week. These rules also require drivers to complete a mandatory 34-hour rest period per week. Further, drivers are not allowed to drive more than 11 hours in a single day, and must include at least one 30 minute break in their schedule.
These rules came about following the 2006 Large-Truck Causation Study completed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration which found fatigue was a significant problem within the trucking industry. The study found that fatigue was a factor in at least 2% of fatal trucking accidents
. By comparison, studies conducted by the American Trucking Association show that fatigue may be a factor in as many as 7% of all semi-truck related accidents.
Individuals who have been injured in a semi-truck accident should contact a San Antonio truck accident attorney
. In Texas, drowsy truck driver's may be held liable for the accidents and injuries their negligence causes. This includes liability for medical expenses, pain and suffering, property damage, lost wages, loss of companionship, and impact on quality of life. Texas law allows individuals to file these claims up to two years after the date of the accident.