How Does Fatigue Affect Truck Accidents?
Each of us has been fatigued at some point in our lives, and we know the feeling. There is a sense of tiredness, a strong desire to rest or sleep, and often an awareness that we are not fit to do any work or complete tasks. Many of us have also pushed through such a situation in order to finish a late-night homework assignment or avoid stopping on an overnight road trip. When this happens without any major consequences, we may tell ourselves that we can simply ignore our feeling of tiredness and keep going any time we like. However, just because a person got away with it once does not make this a safe practice or even a good idea.
What Is Fatigue?
The term driver fatigue refers to a situation when a driver needs sleep or rest. This may be due to a host of reasons, such as being on the road for a long period of time in one stretch. It may also be caused by too little sleep or rest over the previous days.
When a person is fatigued, their alertness decreases. It takes them longer to react, and drowsiness is common. They may begin to nod off, make poor decisions, or have reduced short-term memory. They may experience tunnel vision, and they may drive by roadway signs without even noticing them. These symptoms occur more frequently at nighttime when it’s dark outside and in situations when a person is performing a monotonous activity, such as driving on the highway.
Why Is Fatigued Truck Driving Dangerous?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) compares drowsy driving to driving under the influence of alcohol. Studies have even shown that a driver who has been awake for 24 hours functions similarly to a person with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.10 percent. This amount is greater than the legal driving limit of 0.08 percent in all 50 states.
Given their impaired condition, a fatigued truck driver may not even be aware that their performance is suffering. They may tell themselves that they are fine to drive. They may be under pressure from their trucking company to take minimal breaks and to ignore their body’s signals that they need rest and sleep.
When a truck driver is fatigued, they may begin to drift into an adjacent lane without realizing it. Due to their increased reaction times, they may not begin braking early enough when a vehicle in front of them slows down or stops. They may even fall asleep completely while their truck keeps moving down the road, essentially out of control. This is a recipe for disaster and a leading cause of truck accidents.
Do I Need an Attorney?
If you’ve been hurt in a truck accident with a fatigued truck driver, you may already be facing a stack of medical bills that keeps growing. You might be worrying about how you will pay them and asking yourself how you are going to move on from this painful time.
The deck is stacked against you when it comes to dealing with insurance adjusters because the insurance companies involved are much more experienced in handling insurance claims than you are. They know how to take advantage of the system to pay out as little money as possible.
One way they do this is to offer lowball settlement amounts. They hope that a person will accept their offer because they are unaware of what is fair. They may also attempt to get you to make statements that indicate that the fault for the accident was yours. Each dollar that they don’t pay out is another dollar that they are able to keep in their own pocket.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will take over your case and will make sure that neither of these misleading tactics is successful. They will handle all negotiations on your behalf and will review any offers closely. There are multiple components of potential compensation to which you may be entitled, and each of these should be considered. These may include prescription medication, medical bills, physical therapy, future earnings, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. When you select Evans Moore, LLC, you can rest easy knowing that we will fight for all the money that may be legally yours.
Call Evans Moore, LLC Today
If you’ve been injured in an accident with a truck in South Carolina that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation. You should not have to be financially responsible for an accident that you did not cause. We have successfully represented many people just like you, and we know how to get results.
Our FAQ page answers some of the most common questions we receive about personal injury claims. Contact us today at (843) 995-5000 to speak with a South Carolina truck accident lawyer of Evans Moore, LLC about your case and your options. Let us put your mind at ease so you can put this devastating experience behind you and move on with your life.