District of Columbia residents may remember the collision in the summer of 2014 that seriously injured comedian Tracy Morgan and killed another passenger in the limousine in which Morgan was riding. The crash may have been due partly to the fatigue of the truck driver who hit them. The driver had been awake for 28 hours.
Drowsy driving is believed to be a factor in about 7,500 fatal crashes annually. However, new technology in both trucks and cars is becoming increasingly available that can help to prevent these crashes. Some of the devices detect what the car is doing and either alert the driver or make corrections based on that data. For example, one type of device can tell when a driver is moving into another lane. Another device uses an alarm and light to indicate that a driver is about to collide with an object up ahead.
Some devices and even a few apps can detect when a driver may be getting tired. Steering wheels in Volvos and BMWs judge whether the driver is using them less and may therefore be fatigued. Some apps have alarms that ring periodically. Another app predicts the likelihood of a motorist’s fatigue based on factors such as age and amount of sleep. Drivers might also be required to touch a screen or respond in some other way at intervals.
Both major and minor accidents can have significant costs for injured victims and their families. The loss of a vehicle, time lost from work and medical expenses may all create hardship. The responsible driver may be underinsured, or the insurance company may only offer a minimal amount in compensation. Those who are in this position may want to discuss their options with a personal injury attorney.