According to the National Sleep Foundation, 72,000 deaths every year in America are caused by drowsy driving accidents with drowsy driving often being compared to being similar to drink-driving. In fact, if you’ve been sleep deprived for over 24 hours, it’s comparable to having a blood alcohol level of 10!
So, if we all know that driving drowsy is so dangerous, why is it that according to the National Sleep Foundation, 60% of adult drivers admitted to having driven while feeling drowsy with more than 37% have actually fallen asleep at the wheel. It’s easy to understand if you drive for a living that feeling tired will be an inevitable part of your job, and as a trucker, in particular, your livelihood is based on how far you drive every day. Recent changes in the law in Arizona have meant that regulations on professional drivers such as truckers have been introduced to help prevent further accidents being caused by sleepy drivers.
Our blog aims to cover drowsy driving and the stricter regulations now in place to protect both truck drivers and victims of truck accidents, to prevent further accidents happening.
What constitutes as drowsy driving?
Drowsy driving by definition is feeling very tired and sleepy at the wheel. It’s often caused by concentrating when driving over a long period of time without breaks and can often lead to a collision or even worse. Some medications can cause drowsy side-effects so it’s important to check with your doctor if you are taking new medication. Other times, drowsy driving is simply caused by a driver not taking regular breaks, leading to their eyes feeling very heavy or even falling asleep at the wheel.
Why truck drivers are heavily regulated
I think we can all agree that falling asleep at the wheel is bad enough when you’re driving a 3,000 pound Prius, and can still cause significant damage to you and other road users, but it’s much worse when you‘re driving a 12,000 pound 18-wheeler loaded with 80,000 pounds of cargo. Truck drivers are some of the most likely drivers to have accidents due to the very nature of their job meaning they’re frequently driving.
With the bill being brought in by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, employers of truckers are also now held more responsible by the change in federal law as previously they expected their drivers to endure mileage rather than hours behind the wheel. With a focus on the time truckers are driving and hefty fines should they not adhere means there is an active attempt to reduce the number of truck accidents that happen due to the driver being too tired or unfit to drive.
If you or your loved one have been involved in a horrendous auto accident involving a truck, where the truck driver fell asleep or was drowsy, the law in Arizona will protect you. Our team of experienced lawyers is very familiar with the recent bill introduced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Why not call us (480) 634-7480 today and find out just how we could help your case.