When standard car drivers must share the road with commercial truck drivers, their presence can be very intimidating. These vast vehicles can weigh anywhere from 10,000 pounds, up to 80,000 pounds. Any person who had driven next to a commercial truck can understand the devastation that may arise if an accident were to happen. We may see live news stories about truck accidents once in a while, and it rarely ends well. If the truck was carrying hazardous chemicals, victims can endure poisoning or burns on top of other injuries due to the impact. Drivers may wonder how exactly such terrible accidents happen, and what they should do if they are ever hit by this hefty commercial vehicle.
Do drugs play a role in truck drivers being reckless on the road?
Over the counter or prescription medication drugs can contribute to why truck accidents happen. Depending on the ingredients in the taken medication, the driver may feel tired and/or high. This can lead to a slower reaction time, falling asleep, driving with angst or irritability, and more. A truck driver has a responsibility to deliver goods or chemicals from one destination to another safely, and should not be under the influence of any sort of drug during this journey.
Do truck drivers really fall asleep behind the wheel?
It is possible that a truck driver who is lacking proper sleep actually falls asleep while driving. Truck drivers may have to drive during normal sleeping hours in order to avoid traffic and catch up on time. The average person sleeps somewhere between 10pm and 6am. Our internal body clock thinks these hours are for sleep time, and may become confused if a driver is forcing being awake throughout the night. When the body becomes sleep deprived, a driver may go through brief periods of what is called microsleep.
Tell me more about microsleep. What does that mean?
Microsleep happens when the body is in desperate need of rest and enters very brief episodes of sleep. These episodes can last anywhere from a second or two, up to half a minute. A truck driver who is affected by microsleep, may not even be aware this is happening. During these short moments, the driver may become incapable of responding to the immediate environment. So, you can only imagine how a few seconds of forgetting what is happening on the road can lead to such catastrophe.
I got hit by a truck and decided to meet with an attorney, now what?
In the meantime between now and when you are to meet with a trucking accident lawyer trusts, you should start gathering paperwork that can be helpful to your case. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the truck driver or trucking company. Important documents to bring along for your consultation include the following:
- Medical bills accumulated thus far
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Vehicle repair estimates
- Truck driver’s information
- Trucking company name
- Pictures of the scene and/or injuries