Sleep Deprivation May Have Caused Redding I-5 Truck Accident
A truck accident during the morning rush hour Monday on I-5 slowed traffic but ended in good luck for the truck driver and other motorists. The accident is still under investigation as to cause.
Details of the Accident
The accident, in the vicinity of Hartwell Avenue, occurred about 7:00 a.m. when the 72-foot truck traveling south on I-5 and hauling a 72,000 pound cargo of bottled water, cut across both north- and southbound lanes before overturning and hitting a tree. The California Highway Patrol reported that the driver of the big rig, Kenneth Warren, a Stockton resident, admitted to falling asleep, however, Warren made a contradictory statement to the press, saying a flatbed truck caused the crash, forcing him to slam on the brakes.
Aftermath of the Accident
Both the driver and a passenger in the truck escaped injury. No other motorists were involved in the crash. Traffic in the northbound lanes slowed as motorists went past the crash.
Drowsy Driving Causes Accidents
Drowsy driving is responsible for almost a quarter of fatal accidents in the United States annually. In fact, the AAA Foundation reported in 2016 that, of all fatal accidents, 21 percent were due to driver fatigue. The report noted that drivers who sleep less than seven hours the night before had a greater risk of having an accident. While drivers can minimize the risk by sleeping during the day, most don’t, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Requirements for Healthy Sleep
Medical authorities stress that seven to nine hours of sleep a night is necessary for daytime alertness and physical well-being. Yet, the majority of Americans fail to get a healthy amount of sleep. This varies according to state of residence with only 56 percent of Hawaii residents and those in the southeastern part of the country getting less than adequate sleep. Individuals who are married and employed tend to sleep more.
Less Than Optimal Sleep Equals Effects of Alcohol on Driving
Those who sleep less than five hours have a risk that is the same as driving while under the influence of alcohol. Since only 35 percent of American adults sleep for a minimum of seven hours with 18 percent sleeping less and 12 percent sleeping less than five hours, the risk to other motorists is high.
Truck Driver Vulnerability to Sleep Deprivation
According to the National Institutes of Health, truck drivers get less than optimal hours of sleep required to stay alert while driving. In fact, in one study, drivers obtained on average 4.18 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. This is particularly true of drivers traveling for a long distance. The time periods when drivers are most likely to fall asleep at the wheel are in the early morning hours and late at night. The number of fatal crashes involving sleep-deprived truck drivers is calculated as an average of 28 percent. In addition, sleep deprived drivers may be more likely to use over-the-counter stimulants excessively than those who receive adequate sleep.
Redding Truck Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Redding truck accident lawyer. If you have been injured or a family member has died in a truck accident due to driver fatigue, please reach out to me at (530) 392-9400. Outside the calling area, call (800) 404-5400. I am happy to provide you with friendly and free advice.
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Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/semi-accident-crash-truck-2659736/
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