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Driver Fatigue in Truck Accident Cases

Studies suggest that sleep deprivation is a contributing factor in up to 40 percent of all accidents involving tractor trailers. If you were injured in a semi collision caused by fatigue or another type of driver error, it’s important to consult an experienced Philadelphia truck accident lawyer who can build an effective claim on your behalf.

Operating a motor vehicle requires vigilance behind the wheel. When that vehicle is up to 75 feet long and weighs upward of 80,000 pounds (the federal weight limit for trucks), the truck driver has to be even more attentive to traffic, road, and weather conditions.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has introduced a number of regulations aimed at preventing driver fatigue for operators of big rigs. However, the pressure of transit deadlines can often make cargo companies and drivers disregard safety rules, increasing the risk of a potentially catastrophic truck accident.

Sleep deprivation can hinder a truck driver’s ability to operate a rig safely by:

  • Prolonging reaction time
  • Diminishing awareness
  • Decreasing the ability to focus

Fatigue also increases the risk of a driver falling into a state called microsleep, a brief loss of consciousness characterized by head nods and a lack of attention to one’s surroundings. Though microsleep can last for as little as a few seconds, this is enough time for a truck driver to lose control of the rig and potentially cause a serious accident.

If you or someone you love suffered severe injuries in a truck accident in or around Philadelphia, please contact Wapner, Newman, Wigrizer, Brecher & Miller or call 215-569-0900 today to schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers.