The statistics are alarming.
Research conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board found that 52% of 107 single-vehicle accidents involving heavy trucks were due to truck driver fatigue.
In the same study, 18% of the drivers admitted to falling asleep at the wheel. The U.S. Department of Transportation also performed a study in the 1990s, predicting that 30% of all fatal accidents involved some sort of fatigue.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration believes that 56,000 sleep-related crashes occur each year in the United States, accounting for 40,000 injuries and 1,550 fatalities.
So as drivers who want to avoid a fatal California car accident, what can we do about it?
As drivers, the first step we can take is to refuse to drive while tired. It can be difficult to do, but might just save a life.
Another solution is to recognize drowsy truck and car driver behavior so we may avoid those vehicles all together.
Here are the common warning signs that a driver is either driving drowsy or driving under the influence:
- The driver brakes frequently, even though stop-and-go traffic is not present
- The truck is swerving in and out of the lane.
- The driver speeds up and slows down at odd intervals
- The truck continuously veers towards the shoulder of the highway
- The driver appears to be nodding his head
If you see any of these things happening, call 911 right away and distance yourself from the truck before an accident is caused.
If an accident has occurred, make sure to order your free copy of Steinberg Injury Lawyers's book, The Seven Biggest Mistakes That Can Ruin Your California Injury Case by calling 1-800-989-6385. Or you can also fill out our online form to schedule your free consultation.