As a Sacramento Truck Accident lawyer with over 30 years of experience, I have handled hundreds of trucking negligence cases, many of which involve driver fatigue or truck drivers falling asleep at the wheel. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, there are 100,000 crashes , 71,000 injuries and 1550 deaths a year caused by fatigued drivers or by drivers who fall asleep at the wheel.
12 AM-6AM and 2PM-4PM are the time periods when most of these accidents happen. Most of these accidents happen because of trucker’s irregular and shorter sleep patterns. It is estimated that Trucker’s sleep 2 hours less per day than the population at large. A trucker awake for more than 18 hours has the same driving capacity as someone with a blood alcohol factor of .08. (Legally drunk in most states).
New technology may help especially as Google Glasses become more prevalent. A new app called “Glass Fatigue Detector” looks at a person’s blinking patterns and head rotation and thereby monitors drowsiness. There is also research being done on “Smart Steering Wheels” which monitor how the driver is handling the steering wheel and triggering an alarm if it notices unusual patterns.
Hopefully, trucking fleets will adopt some of the technology available to avoid the carnage heavy truck accidents cause.
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer for over 30 years. If you or a family member has been in a serious accident with a heavy trucker, I can help. Call me at 916-921-6400.