Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers: The High Cost of Drowsy DrivingJanuary 25, 2017
Truck drivers are known for driving long distances for hours on end without a break. And while regulations have become much more strict regarding the number of consecutive hours a truck driver can travel before taking a break, the pressure to deliver the cargo often means that drivers do not always follow these regulations, often driving through the night on very little sleep. This can be very dangerous as studies show that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.
According to a study published by the Governors Highway Safety Associations (GHSA), the annual cost of drowsy driving-related crashes is a staggering $109 billion. When an individual does not get the recommended number of hours of sleep per night, this can have a similar affect on the body as alcohol. In fact, if a driver has not slept for more than 18 hours, his or her driving skills can be impaired in much the same way as someone with a blood alcohol level of 0.05 percent. This figure doubles if the person goes more than 24 hours without sleep.
The study results show that drowsy driving is responsible for close to 328,000 motor vehicle accidents each year, which translates to 109,000 injuries and 6,400 fatalities. When it comes to large truck or bus accidents in the United States, the study shows that drowsy driving is responsible for 10 to 20 percent of truck accidents.
Can Regulations Prevent Drowsy Driving?
Unlike drunk driving, it can be difficult to prove that an individual is driving drowsy, unless the person is forthcoming about how much sleep he or she has had. Unfortunately, many drivers are hesitant to share this information out of fear that they will be penalized. Truck drivers in particular may be less likely to admit to drowsy driving if they think their job could be in jeopardy.
GHSA officials say that law enforcement does not have the proper training to be able to identify drowsy drivers. Rather than inflict harsh penalties on drivers, some feel that educating the public about the dangers of drowsy driving, including the increased risk of injury, may be a more productive way to address the problem. Penalizing individuals for drowsy driving could backfire since there is no concrete test – like a Breathalyzer test for drunk drivers – to confirm that the person was driving on too little sleep.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Drowsy Driving Truck Accidents
If you have been seriously injured in a truck accident involving a drowsy driver, you are urged to contact the reputable Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. Drowsy driving is a serious problem among truck drivers and we will work hard on your behalf to determine who is responsible for your injuries so that we can obtain the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie and Towson, allowing us to represent injured accident victims and their families throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.