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Drowsy Drivers and the Rights of Injured Victims

Drowsy Drivers and the Rights of Injured Victims

We’ve all been there before - whether it’s in the early morning, in the middle of the afternoon, or late at night after a long day, many of us have driven while being tired. Although it’s not necessarily a crime in the same way as driving while intoxicated, driving while tired can be just as dangerous - if not more so - as driving drunk.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving has a substantial impact on the safety of our roadways. In 2013 alone drowsy driving was responsible for:

  • 72,000 reported crashes
  • Over 800 deaths
  • 44,000 injuries

While the numbers are certainly alarming, most experts agree they fail to paint the whole picture of how dangerous drowsy driving truly is, as fatigue is a grossly underreported cause of accidents. This means tired drivers are likely responsible for thousands more crashes, injuries, and fatalities.

Many industries have recognized the dangers of tired driving, and there are many industries in which tired drivers pose a serious public safety threat. In these cases, such as with the trucking industry, there are strict rules and regulations in place.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) places an emphasis on regulations known as Hours-of-Service rules. These rules are designed to prevent tired, fatigued, and overworked drivers from getting behind the wheel of large commercial trucks. Drivers are required to meet strict requirements for break and rest periods, on duty time, and the time they can be behind the wheel.

When truckers don’t follow these rules, tragic accidents can result. This was precisely the case in the recent truck accident involving Tracy Morgan, which left one victim dead, Morgan with severe injuries, and several others injured. It was soon discovered that the truck driver had been awake for over 24 hours.

Although we don’t arrest drivers for being sleepy when they drive, we do hold them accountable for their negligence and actions when they cause preventable crashes that injure others. At The Daspit Law Firm, we help auto accident victims and their families hold at-fault drivers responsible for victims’ damages, including their pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost work wages, and more.

If you have questions about your case and legal rights, contact our Houston car accident lawyers for a FREE consultation.