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Drowsy drivers cause accidents

Think about how much slower you can be to respond to a difficult question when you are exhausted. Not only do your physical reflexes become slower when you are tired, but your brain can as well. A driver's mental fatigue is often the cause of car accidents. It is for this reason there are federal regulations in place that dictate the amount of rest time a transportation employee must take when driving.

The National Transportation Safety Board spotlights this issue in a recent report. The NTSB recommends that companies require fatigue risk management programs, which would include medical tests and screening for conditions that may affect a person's ability to obtain quality sleep.

Beginning in December 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Administration will require all truck and bus drivers to electronically record time on and off duty. This will assist in furthering compliance with drive and rest time regulations. These logs will also assist officials when performing an accident investigation, in that it will allow them to determine whether fatigue could have been a plausible cause.

Motor vehicle accidents involving trucks or buses can have catastrophic consequences, especially when they collide with smaller vehicles. If the commercial driver caused the accident through negligence, such as driving when dangerously fatigued, the injured may recover compensation for their damages through a personal injury lawsuit. However, proving fatigue as the cause can often present a challenge.

If you have pain and suffering caused by a negligent driver who you believe may have fallen asleep at the wheel, or otherwise was simply too tired, taking the time to speak with an attorney can help you determine how to best prove that theory, and what types of compensation you may be eligible to receive.

Source: NTSB.gov, "Reduce Fatigue-Related Accidents," accessed Oct. 16, 2017

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