The dangers of driving while intoxicated are well-known, and most drivers wouldn’t dare get behind the wheel while drunk. Research has shown, though, that driving while fatigued may be nearly as dangerous even though it does not carry the same stigma. Fatigued or drowsy driving in North Carolina can significantly increase the risk of a crash. Truck drivers, with their long hours on the road and demanding mileage requirements, are among the most likely to drive while tired.
This is an especially dangerous circumstance due to the size of large trucks and the speeds at which they travel. Motor vehicle crashes involving large trucks tend to result in more severe injuries. Truck drivers must adhere to drive-time limits but they may still be affected by driver fatigue at the ends of their shifts. This can lead to an inability to pay attention to the road and a failure to notice important details that would be noticed if the driver was alert and aware.
Drowsy driving slows reaction time and causes problems when swift decision making is required. While driving, people are required to decide what speed to drive, when to change lanes and how to respond to changing road conditions. Fatigued drivers may struggle with any of these or other safe driving requirements, leading to accidents in North Carolina.
People who’ve been hurt in motor vehicle collisions with fatigued drivers might be entitled to recover for lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses or other damages. An attorney with experience handling personal injury cases could help a victim by examining case facts and determining potential sources of recovery. The lawyer may also negotiate a settlement on behalf of the client, gather evidence and conduct depositions or draft and file a complaint for relief in civil court.