Drowsy driving is not as prominent in safety campaigns as DUI, but it can be just as deadly. Being awake for more than 24 hours straight has the same effect as having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10. For comparison, Texas residents should know that the legal limit is 0.08 here and in 48 other states. In Utah, the limit is 0.05.

Drowsiness and long-haul truck driving

Fatigue is a problem that especially affects long-haul commercial truck drivers. Truckers have a long work day: They are allowed to drive for 11 consecutive hours, and all too often, they will drive a good part of these 11 hours at night or in the early morning when their bodies are naturally still tired.

The law is that after these 11 hours, truckers must spend 10 hours away from their steering wheel. Yet some truckers violate this limit and drive longer. Most are paid by the mile, and looming deadlines can pressure them into unwise choices. Illnesses, alcohol abuse and drug use can exacerbate the problem.

How drowsiness affects driving

Even before drowsy drivers fall asleep and lose complete control of their vehicle, they put themselves and others in danger. Drowsiness makes one inattentive to one’s surroundings, incapable of judging dangers on the road and slower in reacting to hazards.

Seeing a lawyer about your options

When trucks are involved in motor vehicle crashes, the injuries for the passenger vehicle occupants can be catastrophic. Perhaps that’s the kind of situation you were in. If the trucker was negligent, you may be eligible for compensation. To help you file a claim against the trucker’s employer or insurance company, you may want a lawyer by your side. The lawyer might hire third parties to bring together evidence like in-cab camera footage and the trucker’s work log and phone records.