Truck drivers are perhaps the most vulnerable to drowsiness, and as a result, they run a higher risk than anyone else of being involved in a crash. Perhaps you survived a crash with a truck driver in Northern Arizona and are wondering if you can file a personal injury claim. This will depend on how negligent the trucker was.
The causes of fatigue in truckers
Truckers are allowed to drive 11 consecutive hours, after which they must take a break of 10 consecutive hours before starting a new shift. Unfortunately, many disobey in their effort to meet deadlines. Even when they do obey it, though, they can become fatigued, especially when traveling a good portion of those 11 hours at night.
Illness and medications that cause drowsiness as a side effect will also contribute to crash risk. Another factor is alcohol consumption. It’s not just truckers in the U.S. who do this; half of truckers worldwide admit to alcohol use. Even without leading to intoxication, alcohol makes one drowsy.
The consequences of drowsy driving
In extreme cases, drowsy drivers will fall asleep behind the wheel, completely losing control over their vehicle. Before that, they may experience periods of microsleep: four- to five-second bursts of involuntary inattention. Drowsiness impairs attention, impairs judgment and slows the reflexes.
What to do after a truck accident
There are several essential steps that anyone involved in a truck accident should take. The first is to report the accident; police can collect valuable data like the truck driver’s license number, insurance information and employer’s contact information. Then, victims should seek medical care. Some symptoms will only appear after a delay or days or weeks.
A lawyer to assist with your claim
Your injuries were so severe that filing a personal injury claim sounds like a reasonable course of action. Not all motor vehicle accidents can form the basis for one because a lot depends on each party’s degree of fault. You may want a lawyer to apply Arizona’s comparative negligence rule to your case. The lawyer may also help in gathering evidence and negotiating a settlement.