To most people, a runaway tractor trailer speeding down the highway sounds like a scene out of a movie, a situation that could never happen to them and one that – if it did – would be almost too devastating to comprehend.
Sadly, the reality is that this is an all-too-common scenario on Massachusetts and Rhode Island highways. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident that happened because a truck driver fell asleep behind the wheel, you know the realities of this situation all too well.
Experienced Representation for Truck Accident Injuries in MA & RI
At The Bottaro Law Firm, we provide proven, experienced legal representation for individuals who have sustained injuries after truck accidents in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. With a background representing insurance companies, attorney Mike Bottaro now focuses exclusively on helping injured parties obtain the compensation they deserve. This dedication has helped us recover millions of dollars in financial compensation for those injured in truck accidents in MA and RI.
The Causes Behind Truck Driver Fatigue and Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), falling asleep behind the wheel, suffering a heart attack or seizure, and other forms of “non-performance” by truck drivers are responsible for more than one in 10 truck accidents in the United States. These are accidents that could – and should – be avoided, and individuals who suffer injury or lose their loved ones in asleep-at-the-wheel accidents can often recover significant financial compensation for their losses.
However, if the risks are so high, why are so many truck drivers falling asleep behind the wheel? Some of the most common reasons include:
- Driving Too Many Hours – Owner-operators and drivers who work for trucking companies may feel pressured to drive long hours in order to meet deadlines or log extra miles. Due to the risk of fatigue, the government regulates the amount of time truck drivers can spend behind the wheel. Unfortunately, many drivers ignore these restrictions, and even those who comply may find themselves driving more hours they should before taking a break.
- Lack of Sleep for Other Reasons – Like the rest of us, truck drivers need a good night’s sleep. Even if they are driving an appropriate number of hours each day, truckers may still suffer from sleep deprivation for a variety of other reasons. Truckers who are tired when they start their shifts or who need to get some extra rest are more likely to fall asleep behind the wheel.
- Taking Sleeping Aids – Truck drivers with sleeping problems may take sleeping aids in order to help them get the rest they need to feel rejuvenated. When used appropriately, this may be fine. But, if truckers take sleeping aids behind the wheel, or if they start driving before the effects of these over-the-counter medications have worn off, they can put themselves and others in serious danger.
- Experiencing Side Effects from Alcohol, Drugs, and Other Over-the-Counter Medications – Along with sleeping aids, truck drivers may use alcohol, illegal drugs, and certain over-the-counter medications to cope with stress, treat an illness, feed an addiction, or simply help pass the time. This is dangerous for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the risk for drugs and alcohol to lead to extreme fatigue. Even cough medicines and other seemingly harmless over-the-counter medications can cause drowsiness, which may lead to falling asleep behind the wheel.
The Dangers of Truck Drivers Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel
When a truck weighing several tons goes out of control because its driver has fallen asleep, the consequences can be devastating. Truck accidents are more likely than other vehicle collisions to result in serious injuries, and a disproportionate number of truck accidents are fatal. For those who survive, truck accidents often result in life-changing injuries such as:
- Brain injuries
- Broken bones
- Face and eye injuries
- Loss of limbs
- Organ damage
- Paralysis and other spinal cord injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
To ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries and losses, it is important that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible. At Bottaro Law, someone is available 24/7 to take your call.
Contact The Bottaro Law Firm about Your MA or RI Truck Accident
Truck drivers who fall asleep behind the wheel deserve to be held accountable for their actions. Your injuries or the loss of your loved one can affect your life for years to come, so it is important that you seek the compensation to which you are legally entitled. At Bottaro Law, we can ensure that you receive the largest possible settlement or verdict for your truck accident claim.
We offer free consultations, and our exclusive No Fee Guarantee means that you don’t pay anything unless we win your case. To speak with an attorney, call (866) 631-4288 or contact Bottaro Law online today.