You may make every effort to make sure you are safe on the road. You wear your seat belt, and make sure your family does too. Your vehicle is equipped with working air bags and you follow all the rules of the road. Unfortunately, even the safest of drivers in the Missoula area could find themselves the victims of catastrophic motor vehicle accidents caused by reckless drivers.
Perhaps the most catastrophic accidents in the Missoula area are those involving semi-trucks. After all a fully-loaded semi-truck weighing tens of thousands of pounds has the laws of physics on its side and is simply no match for a smaller automobile or even a large pick-up truck. And, truck drivers are often incentivized financially to try to make as many deliveries as possible as quickly as possible. This could lead them to engage in risky behaviors, especially drowsy driving.
Disturbing our circadian rhythm can lead to crashes
Our bodies have a circadian rhythm, and are naturally more tired between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m., along with the mid to late afternoon hours of 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. However, some truckers prefer to drive overnight rather than during the day, to avoid heavy traffic. This means they may drive during hours where they are naturally drowsy, impairing their response time to potential driving hazards and upping the possibility of causing a truck accident.
Medication and drowsy driving
In addition, even if a trucker has gotten enough sleep at night does not mean they are immune to drowsy driving. Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications make a person drowsy. In fact, one study reported that 17% of truck drivers had an over-the-counter medication in their system when involved in a truck accident. This type of impaired driving should be avoided by anyone, especially truckers.
No one is prepared to be the victim of a truck accident
When you are the victim of a truck accident, you may find your life has been permanently altered. You may be suffering from life-long injuries and you may be unable to work to provide for your family. After all, no one is prepared for being involved in a truck accident that is not their fault, and insurance companies may offer a settlement that is far below what is necessary to cover all the damages you suffered.
When that happens, it is important to hold truck drivers and trucking companies responsible through a personal injury claim. Personal injury lawyers understand what it takes to win a case in court. Our firm’s webpage on motor vehicle accidents may be useful for anyone in Montana who has been in a serious collision with a semi-truck.