According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driver fatigue contributes to 2 percent of nonfatal accidents and 2.5 percent of fatal accidents in Colorado and around the country. CDC officials believe that these figures are too low and that as many as 25 percent of fatal accidents involve driver fatigue. However, fatigue is not always documented in police reports. This is partially due to the fact that no tests exist to determine whether the driver is tired.
Government investigators looking into last summer’s accident that killed comedian James McNair and put comedian Tracy Morgan in a coma for two weeks found that driver fatigue likely contributed to the accident. The Walmart truck driver who crashed into the back of their limousine had reportedly been awake for 28 hours prior to the accident. Truck drivers are not more likely to drive drowsy than other drivers, but any accidents that result usually tend to be more severe because of the size of their vehicles.
Companies have started developing newer technologies aimed at reducing the risks that driver fatigue poses. Some simple technologies require the driver to perform a task on his or her phone at random intervals. Others monitor the driver’s head movements or vehicle movements and set off alarms if the driver shows any signs of fatigue. Some systems will even apply the brakes for the driver to prevent rear-end collisions.
A person who is injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by the negligence of another driver may be entitled to receive compensation for the damages that have been sustained. This compensation could cover medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost income. An attorney can be of assistance in preparing and filing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party.