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Green Bay, WI truck accident attorney for drowsy drivingAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drowsy driving was responsible for at least 795 fatalities and 50,000 injuries in 2017, the most recent year for which statistics are available. If you are injured in a car accident involving drowsy driving, it can often be challenging to demonstrate the other driver’s fatigue because concrete evidence tends to be lacking. However, if the accident involves a commercial semi-truck, trucking industry regulations may make it possible to collect additional evidence to strengthen your case for compensation.

Truck Drivers Are Susceptible to Drowsy Driving

Driver fatigue is a common issue after long stretches of driving without a break or when driving late at night. Unfortunately, the nature of truck drivers’ work means that they frequently find themselves in both of these situations as they try to complete shipments as quickly and efficiently as possible. When drivers become drowsy, they may be more likely to cause accidents due to slowed reaction times or a tendency to fall asleep at the wheel. Drowsy driving accidents involving trucks can be especially dangerous due to these vehicles’ large size and weight.

Truck Driver Regulations and Accident Liability

To reduce the risk of drowsy driving accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has set limits on the number of hours a commercial truck operator can drive. Specifically, drivers are limited to:

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Appleton drowsy driving car accident lawyerOn Friday, March 22, 2019, a Prarie du Chein man was lucky to survive after he drifted off the road and crashed his vehicle into a guardrail. After the accident, which occurred in Wisconsin’s Beetown Township, the driver was rushed to a local hospital and treated for minor injuries. According to the Grant County Sheriff's Department, the man lost control of his vehicle after falling asleep at the wheel. Today, drowsy driving is one of the leading highway safety concerns throughout the United States. If you or a family member suffer injuries in a motor vehicle collision involving a drowsy driver, contact a knowledgeable attorney today. 

Drowsy Driving in the United States 

Falling asleep at the wheel can come with disastrous consequences. If your vehicle is traveling at speeds in excess of 55 mph, falling asleep for even five seconds is the equivalent of driving 100 yards with your eyes closed. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, more than 5, 000 Americans were killed in accidents involving drowsy drivers in 2015 alone. In that time span, 109, 000 people suffered injuries that required hospitalization due to the negligence of drowsy drivers. The next time you get behind the wheel, make sure that you are well-rested. If you are traveling long distances, do not push yourself past your limits. Taking a nap at a rest stop or staying in a hotel can ultimately save a life. 

Commercial Trucking and Drowsy Driving 

While any American can fall asleep at the wheel, commercial truck drivers are consistently cited for drowsy driving. Despite federally mandated regulations that state that commercial truckers are only allowed to drive for a maximum of 11 hours consecutively, many drivers break these rules in order to deliver cargo on time. In some cases, a company will ask their drivers to falsify their driving logs in order to ensure that orders are delivered in a timely fashion. Due to the size and weight of most commercial trucks, falling asleep at the wheel can come with deadly consequences. If a member of your family is injured in a commercial truck accident, our attorneys can investigate the accident to determine whether the driver or trucking company were acting in a negligent manner. 

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Appleton truck accident lawyersIn a perfect world, people would be protected from the neglectful actions of others. Unfortunately, the world is quite far from perfect. In fact, it is often victims who pay the price when unsafe trucks and dangerous drivers mix. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a truck accident, the following information can help you understand your rights.

Failure to Maintain Vehicles is a Form of Neglect

Regulated by the Department of Transportation (DOT), the trucking industry must adhere to strict guidelines pertaining to safety and maintenance. This includes truck maintenance. Failure to adhere to these guidelines is a form of neglect - one that victims can use when pursuing compensation for any losses or injuries they experience. Unfortunately, proof of such neglect is often difficult to find. This is why every truck accident victim needs the assistance of an attorney.

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Wisconsin trucking accident attorney, sleep apnea testing, drowsy truck driverAccording to the AAA Foundation, as many as 300, 000 automobile accidents each year may be caused by drivers falling asleep at the wheel. Moreover, data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that around 1, 200 annual deaths are attributed to drowsy driving. Though not responsible for all of the crashes, commercial drivers are thought to make up a considerable portion of these accidents. However, if the government moves forward with mandatory sleep apnea testing for truck drivers, bus drivers, and rail workers, that may all soon change.

Sleep Apnea in the United States

A recent study from the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety, in which almost one-third of drivers admitted to having trouble keeping their eyes open while driving, tells us what we already know: we live in a sleep deprived society. For some, it is a matter of lifestyle or over-extension of our schedules. But for more than 25 million Americans, the problem is likely attributed to sleep apnea—a silent, and often untreated condition.

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