The right evidence can prove drowsy driving after a truck accident
A driver operating on four or five hours of sleep runs the same risk of crashing as someone with an illegal 0.08 blood-alcohol content (BAC), according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Less than four hours of sleep further erodes their skills equal to someone with a BAC of between 0.12 and 0.15. Those drivers are 11.5 times more likely to cause a crash.
Tired drivers have trouble making decisions, lose their focus and concentration, and respond more slowly to potential hazards. When the driver is behind the wheel of a fully-loaded big rig weighing 80,000 lbs, the results can be tragic if they collide with a 4,000 lb passenger vehicle. A single moment of inattention can cause extensive property damage, traumatic injuries and even death.
Proving a tired trucker was behind the wheel
Pursuing a claim against an allegedly sleepy trucker requires a great deal of effort. Here are some of the tools at your disposal:
- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration limits the hours a commercial driver can work and requires rest periods. You can dig into the driver’s hours through logs, black box data, toll booth receipts, weigh station records, bills of lading, GPS data, cell phone records, and food, fuel and lodging receipts.
- Accident reconstruction experts can evaluate photographs and other evidence, such as skid marks if the trucker attempted to brake (if they did not, that might indicate they were asleep).
- Witnesses, including other motorists, passengers and pedestrians, can testify that the trucker was asleep at the time of the accident.
- Video evidence may be available, either through the dash cameras of vehicles involved or near the accident site, and surveillance footage from nearby businesses.
Hire an experienced drowsy driving accident attorney
If you’ve been involved in a collision with a tractor-trailer, chances are high that you suffered major injuries. They may require a lengthy recovery period. You may be out of work and struggling to support your family. The time, energy and expertise to investigate your accident are likely more than you can handle. This is true especially if the trucker and trucking company are uncooperative. They will, in fact, probably blame you for causing the accident. Meanwhile, an insurance company that knows you are desperate for money will make a lowball financial settlement offer. That could be tempting, yet far short of what you really need.
The truck accident attorneys at the Smith Law Office have more than 40 years of experience representing clients just like you in Columbus and throughout central Ohio. We know how the local legal system works and how to successfully take on trucking companies and their insurers. We will work tirelessly to provide you and your family with emotional closure, justice and a fair financial settlement. Contact us today for a free consultation.