Truck drivers have a unique job, as they must carry thousands of pounds of products or liquids from one station to another as safely as possible. Not only must they haul these items, but arrive at their delivery destination by a certain time. With the added pressure of meeting these time obligations, truck drivers may not take all the breaks they need in order to take proper care of themselves. Taking stops to rest can be crucial for a truck driver, in order to help lessen the chances of causing a terrible accident.
The average commercial truck can weigh ten thousand pounds, up to eighty thousand pounds. The standard passenger car weighs much, much less at a whopping three to five thousand pounds. It can be easy to imagine that if a crash were to occur between these two vehicles, tragedy may fall upon the car driver for being significantly smaller in size.
Why is rest so important for truck drivers?
Truck drivers need adequate sleep in order to be fully alert to surroundings when on the road. If a truck driver were to become sleep-deprived, he or she can be greatly at-risk for falling asleep behind the wheel. There is another condition called microsleep, where a person can actually have their eyes open and enter into a fraction of a second, up to thirty seconds long of sleep. This can be scary for other car drivers sharing the road to imagine, as a truck weighing almost twenty five times more than them can cause substantial pain and damages if control was lost.
What are signs that a truck driver may fall asleep behind the wheel?
While mild tiredness may not be what leads to a horrible accident, lacking necessary sleep certainly can. Functions become impaired when the body has not received rest and quality meals. Blood sugar can drop and attention can waver, thus leading to a truck driver crashing into either a building, side of the road, or an innocent car driver. Signs that a truck driver may fall asleep behind the wheel can include:
- Excessive yawning
- Appearing worn down or disheveled
- Having trouble keeping eyes open
- Staring straight ahead with a blank stare
- Slow, frequent blinking of the eyes
- Head nodding then jolting back upwards
What can I do if I was hit by a truck driver because they were sleep-deprived?
If in the event you or someone you love was struck by a sleepy truck driver, medical attention should be sought immediately. Accidents between a passenger car and a commercial truck should be taken seriously, as injuries can become critical very quickly. Once you have received the medical care you need and have followed up with your doctor, you can consider making an appointment with an attorney about what happened. Depending on the details surrounding the accident, you may be entitled to receiving compensation for the crash. This compensation can help you pay off your medical costs, vehicle damages, replenish loss of pay from missing work, and more. You may want to find a semi truck accident law firm Midtown Manhattan trusts who can talk with you further about how to go about seeking justice.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Offices of Laurence C. Tarowsky for their insight into truck accidents.