Large trucks commonly travel through the Atlanta area on long-distance routes that run along I-75, I-85, I-20, and more. Given that many long-haul truck drivers routinely travel through the Atlanta area, it is important to understand the risks of fatigued driving and how it can be the cause of a serious or deadly trucking collision.
Even when truckers believe they are taking significant precautions to avoid a crash in Atlanta or the surrounding area, being fatigued can result in an accident. How often does fatigued truck driving cause accidents in Atlanta, and who is liable for injuries that occur? Consider the following information from our Atlanta truck accident lawyers.
Fatigued or Drowsy Driving Impairs Your Abilities Behind the Wheel
When a truck driver is fatigued, it may be difficult for the driver to focus on the road and react appropriately, and it may even be possible for the driver to fall asleep at the wheel. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drowsiness makes it more difficult to pay attention while you are driving, it significantly slows a driver’s reaction time, and it limits a driver’s ability to make good decisions behind the wheel.
Annually, the CDC estimates that drowsy driving results in more than 90,000 collisions and nearly 1,000 traffic deaths, but it is possible that those figures are underestimated since it can be difficult to determine with certainty whether a collision resulted from fatigued driving. Death estimates could be as high as 6,000 per year.
Drowsy Driving Can Be As Dangerous As Drunk Driving
Why is drowsy driving so dangerous? Beyond the mere fact that sleep can come over your body suddenly, according to the CDC, drowsy driving can often be as dangerous as drunk driving. Indeed, the way in which fatigued driving impairs your body can be similar to driving after consuming too much alcohol.
As the CDC explains, “being awake for at least 18 hours is the same as someone having a blood content (BAC) of 0.05 percent,” while “being awake for at least 24 hours is equal to having a blood alcohol content of 0.10 percent,” which is above the legal limit of 0.08 in nearly all states.
To put those comparisons in perspective, commercial truck drivers can face DUI charges for even lower BACs. Indeed, having a BAC over 0.04 percent can result in disqualification.
Hours of Service Regulations and Truck Driver Liability
Truck drivers, as well as their employers, may be liable for a drowsy driving crash. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict hours of service regulations that require truckers to get rest at various periods to ensure that they remain awake and alert behind the wheel. Failure to comply with hours of service regulations can result in liability for both the truck driver and their employer in many cases.
Contact an Atlanta Truck Accident Attorney
If you or someone you love sustained injuries in a truck accident in the Atlanta area, you should seek advice from one of our Atlanta trucking accident lawyers about filing a claim for compensation. Contact Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys online today or call us at to get started on your claim.