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Falling asleep at the wheel is something everyone should try to avoid. That being said, truckers have the potential to cause much more damage than everyday drivers when they doze off. As soon as they lose control, their heavy, lumbering vehicles start to veer toward innocent pedestrians, cyclists, and cars. But what actually happens when truckers fall asleep while driving? Is this a criminal offense? Is there any viable excuse for this misconduct? Perhaps most importantly, how can you receive compensation for your injuries if you were involved in a crash caused by a drowsy trucker? Let’s find out.
Trucker Falls Asleep at the Wheel Before Driving Off Grand Parkway
On December 7, it was reported that a driver had fallen asleep behind the wheel in Spring, Texas. The accident involved a semi-truck and a box truck heading down the Grand Parkway. Police later determined that the driver of the box truck had dozed off, causing the vehicle to veer out of its lane. The driver then jolted back awake and overcorrected in a state of panic. This caused the box truck to veer in the opposite direction before it struck the semi-truck. The semi-truck then smashed into a concrete overpass wall, at one point sliding across the overpass “like a grinding skateboard.”
In the end, the semi-truck was left dangling precariously over the edge of the Grand Parkway. It is a miracle no one was seriously injured. Not only does this report highlight what can happen when a trucker falls asleep at the wheel, but it also shows the investigating skill of Texas police. These law enforcement officers were somehow able to determine that the box truck driver fell asleep by piecing together evidence and questioning witnesses.
Drowsy Driving Laws in Texas
“Drowsy driving” is the term most commonly used to describe the dangers of operating a vehicle without adequate sleep. A surprising number of Texas drivers have admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel, and studies have shown that a sleepy driver can be just as dangerous as someone with a 0.08 BAC level. Among other things, your reaction time plummets when you go long periods without getting enough sleep.
With all that said, there are no laws against drowsy driving in Texas. Many other states have created unique laws that punish drivers for getting behind the wheel in a sleepy state. However, this does not mean drivers face zero consequences for drowsy driving in Texas. The most common course of action is simply charging these individuals with reckless driving.
But if you have been injured by a drowsy trucker who fell asleep behind the wheel, you should not concern yourself too much with criminal prosecutions. Instead, you should focus on filing a personal injury lawsuit against the negligent trucking company that caused the crash. While Texas might not have specific laws against drowsy driving, this is an obvious example of negligence.
Negligence is important in Texas because of its “at-fault” car accident laws. Under this system, you must hold another party liable for your injuries if you want to sue and receive compensation. If there is a clear, documented case of drowsy driving in the lead-up to your crash, you could use this to ensure you get your fair share. Proving that a driver fell asleep behind the wheel can be tricky, but police are very adept at determining the root cause of crashes. Once they file their police report, you can simply use this as evidence in your personal injury lawsuit.
Where Can I Find a Truck Accident Attorney in Texas?
If you have been searching for a legal professional in Texas who can help you seek compensation after a truck accident, the answer is simple: Hit By a Truck, Call Chuck. This law firm can guide you toward the compensation you need and deserve, whether you are struggling with medical bills, missed wages, emotional distress, or any other damage. Truckers must be held accountable for their dangerous negligence, whether they are falling asleep at the wheel, driving while intoxicated, or failing to respect the rules of the road. Book your consultation at your earliest convenience, and you can immediately start working toward a fair settlement.