Driving While Drowsy and DistractedMay 1, 2018
Serious traffic accidents are caused by a range of factors, but drowsy driving and distracted driving are at the top of the list. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 800 fatalities and 72,000 crashes each year are caused by drowsy driving alone. In 2016, over 3,400 people were killed in distracted driving accidents in the United States.
When a large tractor trailer is involved, the consequences can be particularly devastating, due to the massive size of the truck and the damage it can inflict on a passenger vehicle. There are steps carriers can take to ensure that truck drivers are well-rested and focused, which can help prevent many of these tragic truck accidents from occurring.
A Wake-Up Call About the Dangers of Drowsy Driving
It should come as no surprise that drowsy driving is extremely dangerous. This is particularly true for truck drivers, who are known for having irregular sleep schedules, a range of health issues, and a demanding workload that involves long hours behind the wheel.
A technical manager of risk control at Travelers suggests trucking fleets should take the following steps, to ensure that their drivers are getting an adequate amount of sleep and taking all available precautions:
- Maintain reasonable work schedules. Employers should manage schedules so that drivers are not behind the wheel for extended periods of time. Employers should also discuss issues that may be preventing drivers from getting enough sleep, including illnesses or family issues.
- Comply with Hours of Service (HOS) regulations at all times. This will help ensure that drivers get the rest they need when they are off duty.
- Conduct sleep apnea testing. Sleep apnea is common among truck drivers. Employers should explain the risks associated with the condition, and the treatment options available.
- Provide drowsy and distracted driving awareness training.
- Incorporate telematics into the driver management system. A telematics system can help track risky driving behaviors, like drowsy and distracted driving. For example, DriveCam is a telematics system that records and sends video of a truck driver if he or she is engaged in unsafe behavior while driving. This helps fleets identify behaviors that need to change, and from there develop personalized coaching for their drivers.
The DriveCam technology has been effective at reducing incidences of distracted driving. For example, after using the technology over a period of time, some members saw a 51 percent reduction in distracted driving. In addition, there was a 69 percent reduction in accident severity and a 45 percent reduction in coachable events.
Growing Concern Over Distracted Driving
In addition to drowsy driving, distracted driving is another serious problem among truck drivers. From talking and texting on their cell phones to eating and drinking while driving, these risky behaviors are occurring far too frequently. According to a report by Finder.com, millennials are particularly susceptible to distracted driving accidents.
Baltimore Truck Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Seek Justice for Victims of Truck Accidents
If you have been injured in a truck accident involving a driver who was distracted or drowsy, contact the Baltimore truck accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve and ensure that your legal rights are protected at all times. To schedule a free, confidential 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 truck accident victims throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.