Working long hours, family obligations and other circumstances can make it difficult to get adequate sleep. Most Maryland residents can recall at least one time when they felt tired all day long due to sleep deprivation, but still had to get on with their lives, which may have included driving. An extra cup of coffee, soda or energy drink may have provided enough alertness to get through the day, but they probably were not on the road all day. What about the trucker who struggles to stay awake while driving all day? No amount of caffeine can erase the increased potential for a truck accident.
A recent crash investigated by troopers with the Maryland State Police illustrates just how dangerous this can be. A trucker fell asleep and crashed into another big rig. He managed to escape the wreckage before a fire broke out, but that does not excuse his behavior. No one may have been seriously hurt in this incident, but far too many people lose their lives to drowsy truckers here and across the country.
In order to provide perspective on how prevalent the issue of sleepy truckers is, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that from 2009 to 2015, incidents such as this one rose approximately 57 percent. During that same time, fatalities in truck accidents rose around 30 percent. Fatigue continues to be a serious problem among truck drivers, and innocent people are paying the price.
For this reason, part of nearly every truck accident investigation involves determining whether drowsy driving played a role. This often involves delving into the activities of the truck driver for days prior to the crash. Any evidence found could prove that negligence led to the severe and deadly injuries that often result in accidents involving these large and heavy vehicles.
Source: abc2news.com, “Tractor-trailer driver falls asleep at wheel causing crash and shutdown on 695“, Brian Kuebler, March 1,2018