Drowsy driving can injure or kill. All motorists should avoid driving while drowsy, but those who operate large trucks need to be especially vigilant. Not only are commercial drivers more likely to be exhausted while on the road because of their demanding schedules, but they can also cause considerably more damage in the event of a collision.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, driving while drowsy can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol because sleep deprivation has similar effects on the body. Someone who has been awake for 24 consecutive hours has similar cognitive and motor functioning as someone with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10.
Unlike drunk driving, though, there is no tangible way to prove drowsy driving. You cannot conduct a blood or breath test to determine how long it’s been since someone last rested. Fortunately for accident victims, there are other ways to prove that a motorist fell asleep at the wheel.
If you were hurt in a truck crash and think the other party had been driving while drowsy, a personal injury attorney from Gump & Faiella can help you gather the evidence to prove it. We have recovered more than $250 million for clients in successful settlements and verdicts. Call 800-264-3455 to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our Missouri truck accident lawyers.
Here are a few kinds of evidence your attorney might use to prove that the truck driver fell asleep at the wheel:
- Driver’s Logs
Driver’s logs can reveal if the trucker was violating any hours of service regulations at the time of the accident. If records indicate the motorist had been on the road for more than 14 hours prior to the crash, he or she was likely drowsy driving when the incident occurred.
- Black Box Data
Commercial vehicles are equipped with electronic control modules, or “black boxes,” that record data regarding their operation. Interpreting this data and using it to corroborate your claim can be challenging, but an experienced lawyer will know what to look for when building your case. For example, if the data indicates that the operator did not apply the brakes or attempt to avoid the crash in any way, it may have been because he or she was asleep at the wheel.
- Eyewitness Testimony
Depending on the circumstances, nearby motorists may have actually seen the trucker nodding off in the cab. They may have also witnessed the vehicle swerve or drift several times, which could be explained by dozing off behind the wheel.
- Receipts from the Trip
Even if the logs do not indicate an hours of service violation, other kinds of records and receipts from the trip can. For example, receipts for several caffeinated beverages within a relatively short period of time could prove the driver was trying to stay awake. Time-stamped receipts from toll booths, weigh stations, and fuel stops could also indicate a violation.
Call 800-264-3455 to Discuss Your Case with a Missouri Truck Accident Lawyer
If you were hurt in a collision with a drowsy trucker, contact Gump & Faiella. Our personal injury attorneys have more than 90 years of combined experience practicing law. We represent clients throughout Moberly, Columbia, and all of Missouri. Call 800-264-3455 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free case evaluation with a truck accident lawyer on our team.