Drowsy Driving Makes Tractor-Trailer Accidents More Likely
Tractor-trailers are large vehicles with the potential to cause serious accidents if not operated properly. If there are other dangers at play, the potential for accident shoots up even further, and not much is more dangerous in terms of road behavior than driving while drowsy. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that over 630 people died as a result of drowsy driving crashes in 2020, which may not seem like many, but it can be argued that each one of those was preventable. If you have been injured as a result of an accident like this, you have the right to seek compensation.
Driving Drowsy Costs Lives
While most people in this day and age are aware of just how dangerous driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be, far fewer know that driving while tired can be just as hazardous. In 2017, police logged approximately 91,000 crashes that involved a drowsy driver, with who knows how many going unreported. Many accidents involving tired drivers are single-car crashes, where someone nods off at the wheel and drives off the road – but many others involve one or more drivers whose negligence causes real harm to others.
The accusation of negligence can go double or even triple for tractor trailer drivers, if they are found to have driven while drowsy. Tractor-trailers are often three times the weight and size of a standard automobile, and have the ability to cause injuries ranging from cuts and bruises to traumatic brain injuries and death. Driving while drowsy can be painted as negligent, or even outright reckless, as being tired can impair a person’s ability to make the quick decisions and reactions that one needs while operating a motor vehicle. If a tractor-trailer driver’s choice to drive while tired has injured you, you have the right to seek compensation for the harm you have suffered.
Breaching The Duty Of Care
Florida is a no-fault state when it comes to auto insurance, but in most accidents that involve tractor-trailers, an auto driver will sustain injuries serious enough to trigger the ‘severity threshold’ contained in the state’s no-fault statute. What this means is that if your injuries are serious enough, you do not have to settle your case by filing a claim with your personal injury protection (PIP) insurer; rather, you can file suit in District Court as you would in any accident not involving vehicles.
It can be difficult to establish that a tractor-trailer driver was operating their vehicle while tired, but it is not impossible. Accident reconstruction, eyewitness statements and medical records can all be persuasive in establishing a case against a driver you believe to have been negligent. Anything to establish that the driver violated the duty to exercise reasonable care toward the other motorists on the road can make a difference in your receiving the compensation you deserve.
Contact A Tampa Tractor-Trailer Accident Attorney
Being involved in an accident with any vehicle can lead to serious injury, but an accident with a tractor-trailer can be life-threatening – particularly if the tractor-trailer driver is not operating at their peak condition. A Tampa truck accident attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group can help to answer any questions you may have about your case. We are ready to try and help you get the compensation you deserve. Call our office today at (813) 831-9999 for a free consultation.