Drowsy driving risk underrated

New York is one of the most densely populated states and relies on commercial trucks to deliver many of the goods that keep its communities thriving. Commercial truck drivers use vehicles that generally are much larger and much heavier than a traditional family car. That makes accidents between cars and commercial trucks especially deadly with drowsy drivers sometimes responsible for crashes.

Many ways fatigue takes effect

Truck drivers who suffer from fatigue that leads to motor vehicle accidents often have many factors contributing to their condition. The most obvious is not getting enough sleep before climbing behind the steering wheel for up to 11 straight hours of commercial driving. Illness and medications can lead to fatigued driving as can drinking and driving, which no driver ever should do. A combination of factors can contribute to fatigued driving and make the trip more dangerous.

Prolific problems affecting commercial drivers

About 1 in 25 commercial truck drivers recently surveyed said they had fallen asleep while driving on the job during the past month. The effect of drowsy driving is very similar to drinking and driving, especially if the driver has not slept during the past 24 hours. Such a driver typically operates their truck in about the same manner as a driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.10, which would trigger a DUI charge in New York.

Commercial auto insurance liability applies

When a drowsy truck driver causes an accident, the offending driver is at fault, and the commercial auto insurance policy on the vehicle should pay for medical costs and damages. Commercial vehicle insurance generally has higher limits than standard personal auto insurance policies, but they still have policy limits on coverage. Given the potential for very catastrophic damages and injuries arising from an accident with a commercial truck, the personal costs easily could exceed policy limits and leave victims on the hook for ongoing costs.

When costs exceed policy limits, a lawsuit might be the best possible solution to obtain a fair settlement. A personal injury attorney experienced in motor vehicle accidents may review your case and help you negotiate with insurers and owners of commercial vehicles.

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