New York Drowsy/Fatigued Truck Driver Accident Lawyer
Drowsy driving causes almost 100,000 traffic collisions each year, according to the CDC. Commercial truck drivers are the most affected group when it comes to habitual drowsy driving. If you were hurt in a truck crash, the New York drowsy/fatigued truck driver lawyers at Cohan Law Firm are here to help you file a claim for compensation.
The Effects of Drowsy Driving
Obviously, falling asleep at the wheel results in a driver’s complete inability to function; they are no longer controlling their truck in any way, and a crash is inevitably going to occur in a matter of seconds. But is drowsy driving really that dangerous? The answer, of course, is yes. Drowsy driving can be just as hazardous as driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08, which is over the legal limit, because it causes much of the same inhibitions. Fatigued driving does the following:
- Reduces the driver’s reaction time
- Inhibits the driver’s sight, peripheral vision, and depth of vision
- Affects the driver’s ability to make good decisions
- Inhibits the driver’s attention span
- Causes overconfidence and uninhibited behaviors
- Makes it hard for a driver to judge speed
This all makes it more likely that the driver will tailgate, speed, fail to use turn signals, fail to recognize changes in speed limits or other road signs, and veer out of their lane into the shoulder or oncoming traffic.
Caffeine and Stimulants Only Work for so Long
Caffeine, cocaine, and other illegal street drugs are used by some trucks to stay awake or stave off boredom during long shifts. While caffeine and certain other herbal and over the counter stimulants are legal to use, cocaine and amphetamines are not, and only increase the chances of a wreck. Furthermore, no type of stimulant can revive a fatigued driver to the point where it is safe for them to continue driving. The only remedy for drowsy driving is to pull off the road and rest.
Federal Truck Regulations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has rules for commercial vehicle drivers, including long haul truckers, who are the most likely type of driver to cause a crash due to drowsy driving. A trucker can only be on duty for a maximum of 14 hours a day during a 24 hour time period. There are other FMCSA rules, including but not limited to the following:
- A truck driver can drive a maximum of 11 hours after 10 consecutive hours off duty
- A truck driver cannot drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty
- After eight hours of consecutive driving, a trucker must take a 30 minute break
Driving logs can be analyzed to determine if FMCSA rules were violated. If a trucker’s black box is on and functioning, it can also be used for this purpose. However, it is entirely possible to fall asleep at the wheel even if all of these regulations are followed to a T.
Call a New York Drowsy/Fatigued Truck Driver Attorney Today
Even the most straightforward truck crashes can be difficult to win. For fair compensation, you need to work with a lawyer. Call the New York drowsy/fatigued truck accident lawyers at Cohan Law Firm today at 855-855-0321 for a complimentary consultation.