Trucking Accidents and Fatigue: The Dangers of Driving While Drowsy

Dec 5, 2014 @ 09:02 AM — by Larry A. Tawwater

The aftermath of a serious truck accidentBased in Oklahoma City, The Tawwater Law Firm has been helping accident victims and their loved ones all around the state. We've always been committed to the rights of accident victims and their loved ones, and we fight diligently for damages in personal injury and wrongful death litigation.

Truck accident lawsuits require skilled attorneys to take on the legal teams employed by trucking companies. One particular type of trucking accident that's been in the news lately involves driver fatigue. These kinds of accidents are extremely deadly.

In the News: The Large Truck Accident Involving Tracy Morgan

Earlier this year in June, a tragic six-vehicle truck accident occurred in New Jersey. One of the vehicles that was impacted by this multi-car collision was a Mercedes Sprinter limousine bus whose passengers included the actor/comedian Tracy Morgan and his friend and collaborator James McNair.

The accident was caused by a Walmart truck driver named Kevin Roper. Roper fell asleep while behind the wheel and came back to his senses just as he was about to strike other vehicles ahead of him. While swerving, the Walmart truck struck the Mercedes Sprinter limousine bus, killing McNair and causing severe injuries to Morgan.

Roper had reportedly been awake for more than 24 hours before that tragic accident occurred.

The Dangers of Driving While Drowsy

If you drive while drowsy, you run the risk of falling asleep behind the wheel and accidentally colliding with other vehicles. The chances of rear-end collisions and sideswipe collisions grow immensely.

Even if you do not periodically dose off behind the wheel, fatigue leads to slower reflexes, impaired mental faculties, and poor decision making. In some ways, driver fatigue has similar results as drunk driving.

Why Driver Fatigue Occurs In the Trucking Industry

Truck drivers are often pushed very hard to make shipments and deliveries on time. They are crucial for interstate commerce and the delivery of goods. Some companies, however, place too much of a burden on their truck drivers, forcing them to make long hauls without any rest time. This behavior endangers everyone on the road and demonstrates a gross irresponsibility on the part of the trucking company.

Holding Truck Drivers and Trucking Companies Accountable

We know just how deadly and how heartbreaking truck accidents can be, and we have helped countless clients throughout the state in auto accident litigation. Our lawyers will fight diligently for you and your loved ones, holding the trucking company and/or the truck driver accountable for causing an accident to occur.

One of our goals will be to obtain damages for you to cover the cost of recovery or to assist in the process of closure. We will also seek to change the practices of the trucking company and the trucking industry in the future, so avoidable accidents such as this do not happen again in the future.

Tips to Avoid Driver Fatigue and Stay Safe

If you are going for a long drive, here are some tips to avoid fatigue and keep you safe:

  • Get ample rest the night before your drive
  • Stop at rest stops or gas stations to stretch and walk around as needed
  • Take naps at rest stops if you are feeling tired
  • Stay overnight at a hotel if you are drowsy

Discuss Your Case with the Lawyers of The Tawwater Law Firm

For more information about serious auto accidents and your legal options, be sure to contact our personal injury attorneys today. The entire team here at The Tawwater Law Firm look forward to hearing from you and helping you receive just compensation for injuries and hardships that occur as a result of a collision.

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