Have you ever gone on a long distance car trip? Whether you were the passenger or the driver, chances are you got bored. No matter how excited you were about the final destination, or even the stops along the way, it’s hard to be enthusiastic about mile after mile of highway.
Yet, truck drivers drive on the highway hour after hour, day after day. At some point, the miles may begin to run together. The driver enters a dulled, drowsy, trance-like state known as highway hypnosis.
During highway hypnosis, the driver is awake, but his brain activity slows down to a sleep-like level. In fact, highway hypnosis is most common in drivers who are tired. The driver doesn’t recognize he is in this state until he is jolted out of it.
On December 1, 2013, a commuter train derailed in New York City killing four passengers. The train engineer told investigators that he was in a "daze" at the time of the crash. Experts believe that the “daze” could have been highway hypnosis.
Highway hypnosis is just as deadly when the driver is behind the wheel of a semi-truck. It is impossible to know how many crashes are due to highway hypnosis because these crashes usually categorized as drowsy driving. However, drowsy and tired drivers cause more than 100,000 crashes a year that result in around 1,550 deaths.
While federal trucking laws are designed to prevent driver fatigue, many long distance truck drivers skimp on sleep in order to save time. If you are injured in a trucking accident, your attorney will use the truck driver’s log to help determine if the driver was in compliance with federal and state laws regulating sleep and rest breaks. If there is evidence that the driver was not getting adequate rest, both the driver and the trucking company may be held liable for the crash.
Do you believe your truck crash was caused by a drowsy driver? Contact Kaufman Law. Ask to schedule a free consultation, and we’ll let you know if you have a case.