Drowsy driving is a significant concern throughout the United States, and the combination of sleepiness and negligence can have devastating consequences. Massachusetts drivers who operate a vehicle while drowsy risk their safety and that of others on the road. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving accounts for nearly 900 fatal crashes every year.
The effects of fatigued driving are similar to that of drunk driving. Studies indicate that those who are awake for 18 hours are similar to someone having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .05%. Further, being awake for 24 hours is equal to a 0.10% BAC. Moreover, sleepiness increases the effects of even small amounts of alcohol. Sleepiness makes drivers less attentive, slows reaction times, and impacts a motorist’s ability to make sound decisions.
There are many warning signs of sleepy or impaired driving. These signs include frequent yawning, difficulty remembering directions, missing exits, drifting lanes, or driving over rumble strips. Although anyone can drive while tired, some individuals are more susceptible to drowsy driving. These people typically include long-haul truck drivers, shift workers, drivers with sleep disorders, and those who use medications that make them tired. These actions can cause a driver to become involved in a severe accident.
For instance, recent news reports described a Massachusetts accident involving a truck driver. State Police indicated that a tractor-trailer driver fell asleep and crashed into a state trooper. The trooper was in his unmarked vehicle with emergency lights on next to a construction crew trimming trees. The tractor-trailer driver veered off the road and woke up right before slamming into the trooper’s vehicle, barrels, cones and an arrow board. The force caused the trooper’s steering wheel to break off, and the officer was pinned inside his vehicle. He suffered injuries and was placed on medical leave. The tractor-trailer driver is facing charges related to negligent driving and failure to move over.
Massachusetts follows the theory of modified comparative negligence. Under this theory, an injured party can only recover compensation if they are less than 51% responsible for the accident. As such, it is important that injury victims contact an attorney to ensure that the negligent or sleepy driver does not successfully thwart liability for their conduct.
Have You Suffered Injuries in a Massachusetts Accident?
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries in a Massachusetts truck accident, contact The Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates. P.C. Attorney Feinstein has over 25 years of experience successfully representing Massachusetts injury victims in their claims against negligent parties. Our firm handles cases with integrity and tries to ensure that clients obtain the best possible outcome. The firm handles Massachusetts motor vehicle accidents, premises liability, defective products, medical malpractice, and wrongful death. We have recovered significant amounts of compensation for our clients, including payments for medical losses, property damage, pain and suffering, and funeral and burial expenses. Contact the Law Offices of Barry Feinstein & Affiliates, P.C., at 800-262-9200 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our team.