National traffic and transportation reports indicate that Texas has the highest number of motor vehicle accidents in the country. Reports from the Texas Department of Transportation have indicated that over 30,000 drivers are injured as a result of auto collisions each year. Among the top causes of these devastating accidents is driving while fatigued, which can endanger and impair the driver as much as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Common Causes of Fatigued Truck Driving in Texas
Although fatigued driving can, and does, affect the performance of motorists who operate any kind of vehicle, truck drivers are most likely to suffer from driving while fatigued due to the nature of their professional requirements. There are a variety of reasons why a truck driver may get behind the wheel or continue driving while they are fatigued, including:
- Tight deadlines from a trucking company
- An incentive to drive for long hours from a trucking company
- Prolonged hours of driving and lack of rest
- Pressure from the trucking company
Any driver who has experienced an accident with a motorist who was operating their vehicle while fatigued understands just how devastating a collision can be.
Symptoms of Driving While Fatigued
Truck drivers who operate large vehicles of any kind, including semi-trailers and flatbed trucks, are instructed to get the proper amount of rest in between stretches of time spent on the road delivering goods. Driving a commercial vehicle or 18-wheeler truck in Houston, Texas, while fatigued can result in serious harm to both the driver and other motorists, which is why it is essential to identify the symptoms of fatigue early. Common indications of exhaustion and fatigue include:
- Repeated yawning
- Inability to focus
- Problems staying alert
- Difficulty keeping eyes open
- Head bobbing or nodding
- Burning or red eyes
- Muscle tension
- Slow reaction times
- Drifting between lanes
- Driving too slowly or too fast
- Ignoring traffic lights and signs
- Lapses in time or memory, i.e., zoning out or spacing out
Understanding the different symptoms of a fatigued driver can help you avoid an accident. If you find yourself preparing to drive a vehicle while experiencing any of these symptoms, or if you are about to enter a car as a passenger with someone exhibiting similar behavior, ensure that you take the proper precautions to prevent either yourself or the fatigued individual from driving.
Why are Truck-on Car Crashes More Dangerous?
When passenger vehicles become involved in collisions with large commercial trucks, the results are often devastating.
The occupants of a large truck are also protected by the height and large frame of their cab and are thus far less likely to suffer physical injury from such a crash. In the same year, 74% of injuries and 82% of deaths were to occupants of the passenger vehicle impacted by an 18-wheeler. The heightened risk of death and injury associated with driving a truck means that their operators are subject to more responsibility and regulations on the road. An NHTSA study also found that fatigue was a factor in 13% of truck crashes, and it is clear that the tight deadlines and long hours foisted upon truckers can be a serious detriment to public safety.
As such, there may be several parties liable for your injuries, which can increase the complexity of your claim and may make it more challenging to receive the compensation you deserve without the help of a fatigued truck driver accident attorney.
Possible Awards from Fatigued Driving Lawsuits
Reports from 2019 indicate that 697 fatalities occurred in the United States from crashes related to fatigued driving. These devastating statistics make it clear that serious collisions involving drowsy or exhausted motorists are a common occurrence, especially in Houston, Texas, where many truck drivers work long shifts and run the risk of operating their vehicles while fatigued.
Attorneys who are knowledgeable in the complex system of fatigued driving lawsuits can help their clients receive compensation for:
- Medical bills (past and future)
- Physical Impairment (past and future)
- Loss of earnings (past and future)
- Disfigurement (past and future)
- Pain and suffering (past and future)
- Mental anguish (past and future)
- Punitive damages
Talk to a Fatigued Truck Driver Accident Attorney in Houston
Filing a lawsuit against a fatigued driver can be challenging, but it can get even more complicated when you are pursuing a case against a large trucking company and their insurance firm. The bureaucratic web of liability and insurance claims can be incredibly difficult to navigate on your own, especially if you and your family are dealing with medical bills and other issues stemming from your accident. Having a Houston truck accident lawyer on your side is crucial to getting the compensation you deserve. Get in contact with us now by calling (713) 352-7975 or by filling out the free case evaluation form located on this page.