Fatigued driving is a widespread, dangerous phenomenon. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as a quarter of all fatal crashes are linked to drowsy driving. It is likely that this problem is under-reported and that this data is just the tip of the iceberg.
If you were involved in an L.A. traffic collision, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm may be able to help and establish evidence pertaining to whether the driver who hit you was negligently drowsy. This evidence is often short-lived, as trucking companies are often only required to keep records for six months. Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 794-0444.
Talking to an established Los Angeles fatigued driver lawyer such as those with Pintas & Mullins Law Firm is a step you can take towards protecting your legal rights and interests.
Why Fatigued Driving Is Risky
Motor vehicles weigh thousands of pounds and travel at high speeds – there are always risks while driving, but driving with the impairment of drowsiness can be incredibly dangerous and life-threatening. Losing one’s faculties while driving, for any reason, can create a very dangerous situation not only to the driver but to those sharing the road with them. For example, pedestrians can be killed by a car moving as slow as 20-30 mph. If a driver falls asleep moving at even moderate speeds, short of having an actual auto collision, it falls to curbs, medians, or rumble strips (also known as sleeper lines) to startle the driver awake.
Fatigued driving can be as impairing as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. According to the National Sleep Foundation, being awake for 18 hours can have a similar effect as a blood alcohol level of 0.05. After 24 hours without sleep, the effect is considered equivalent to 0.10, which would be above the legal blood alcohol limit of 0.08.
Other Roadway Risk Factors
If a truck is involved in the collision, there are higher chances that multiple vehicles will be involved, that there will be more property damage, injury, and potential for loss of life. This is due to the simple nature that trucks are large and heavy, and share the road with smaller and faster cars that can slow down with less notice than big rigs require.
Due to these factors, 71% of people killed in big rig collisions in 2018 were occupants of other vehicles than the big rig.
Additionally, drivers of big rigs are much less often found to be driving drunk after causing an accident than are drivers of other vehicle types. By the numbers, motorists are far more likely to cause an accident while intoxicated when they’re driving other vehicles, 25% chance for wrecks caused by motorcyclists, for example, compared to the 5% chance that a semi-truck driver was intoxicated during their accident. By implication, it is likely that when big rig accidents do occur, they are more likely to be due to a tired driver than for intoxicants.
There are some common myths regarding drowsy driving that authorities are working to counteract. Contrary to popular opinion, the following are not considered to be enough to combat drowsy driving, per the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
- Blasting air conditioning
- Turning up the stereo volume
- Ingesting sugar or caffeine
- Opening windows
Government data shows that most drowsy driving accidents occur between the hours of midnight and six in the morning, as well as in the late afternoon and early evening.
If you were in an L.A. area traffic accident and have more questions about fatigued driving, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today.
For a free legal consultation with a fatigued driver accidents lawyer serving Los Angeles, call (800) 794-0444
Benefits of Los Angeles Fatigued Driver Lawyer Representation
The statute of limitations for the state of California is two years, according to CA Civil Procedure §335.1. This means that at the absolute latest, if you have not filed a lawsuit by two years after the date of a traffic accident, then you have legally forfeited your right to sue other parties about that accident.
But if you’ve waited even two months after an accident, that’s far too long. Every hour that ticks by after the collision occurs is another hour that other parties may be working aggressively to alter or destroy evidence that could support your case against them. Trucking companies don’t stay in business by losing big lawsuits, and they are adept and swift in taking smaller risks to mitigate the larger risk of losing a case to you. But if this type of cover-up of negligence is truly present, then your legal team may be able to prove such an extreme disregard for the law and justify punitive damages.
Punitive damages are meant to deter such action in the future by similar companies, and are basically often more than every other compensatory category combined. This is also exceedingly rare, and does not represent the average case, but it is important to know that if the law is on your side, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can move quickly to protect your legal interests, and expose any evidence tampering among the defendants, should such evidence be present.
Los Angeles Fatigued Driver Accidents Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Why it is Important to Act Quickly After A Roadway Collision
There are also reporting requirements for trucking companies to keep records for certain periods of time. Often driver logs are required to be kept for only six months. While it would look suspicious to a court for a trucker to not have a driver log within six months, it wouldn’t look suspicious after six months, and such developments can materially affect your potential damage award amount long before your statute of limitations has expired.
It’s not at all a stretch to say that the sooner you speak with a licensed law office, the sooner your legal rights will be protected to the fullest extent of the law. Injuries related to roadway collisions can be serious, difficult to spot early on, or carry a latency period. It’s vital to get a check-up from your healthcare provider after a serious traffic collision, but of course, doctors’ attention isn’t cheap. If your health insurance determines another party is at fault for your injuries, it may become your financial burden to establish the fault of other drivers, and this is where Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help.
By working with a professional Los Angeles fatigued driver lawyer, you maximize your options while allowing your full attention to focus on healing.
Up to one-third of Americans report having fallen asleep at the wheel. If you feel that a driver was drowsy and hit you on the road, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free consultation. Working on a contingency basis, we only collect money if you collect awards. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can be reached at (800) 794-0444, or online at a time that is most convenient for you.