Larry A. Roach, Inc.
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Truckers at high risk for drowsy driving

Drivers in Louisiana should know more about drowsy driving because every year, it is the factor behind an estimated 100,000 car accidents in the U.S. Drowsiness is known to impair one's ability to reason, judge, and react to situations. It also slows down one's reflexes. Drivers, like everyone else, cannot decide for themselves when they fall asleep, and all the energy they expend on staying awake only serves to take their attention from the road.

Commercial truck drivers are at the highest risk for drowsy driving, and when their heavy-duty trucks collide with cars and pedestrians, the injuries are usually catastrophic or fatal. Truckers work long hours, and in their effort to meet strict deadlines, they may drive longer than is safe. With the promise of bonuses and incentives, employers may even encourage them to do so in order to deliver cargo ahead of schedule.

Truck drivers often ignore the rules instituted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which limit them to a 14-hour work schedule, require them to take a break within the first eight hours of duty, and mandate at least 10 off-duty hours before the next shift. These guidelines were created precisely so that truckers can avoid an accident. In the last analysis, rest, not caffeine, will wake a driver up.

When drowsy driving leads to commercial vehicle accidents, victims (or their families, as the case may be) should consider meeting with a lawyer about filing an injury claim or wrongful death suit. The claim will be made against the trucking company, and since these companies have their own team of lawyers who will work hard to deny victims a settlement, it may be wise to hire a lawyer to prepare the case and handle negotiations. The lawyer may bring in accident investigators and other experts to find proof of negligence.

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