Truck Accidents: Driving at Night
Washington, DC Truck Accident Attorneys
Night driving can be difficult and dangerous for anyone. Driving at night
poses some special risks for large commercial trucks and the vehicles
nearby. The main problems associated with night driving and big rigs are
fatigue and visibility - both the truck driver's ability to see other
vehicles and other drivers' ability to see the truck. Together, these
factors heighten the potential for deadly traffic accidents. At Chaikin,
Sherman, Cammarata, Siegel, P.C., Our Washington, DC truck accident lawyers
believe that truck drivers and motors share a responsibility stay alert
while driving at night. We also believe that careless and negligent drivers
should be held accountable for the injuries and deaths caused by their
poor driving. If you suffered an injury or the loss of a loved one because
a driver wasn't paying attention at night, our team can help you collect
the damages that you need.
Night driving & fatigue
Hours of service regulations (HOS) govern how many hours a truck driver
may be on the road in one stretch. They do not determine what time of
day a trucker may be on the road. In fact, the nature of HOS can mean
that drivers are forced to drive at night and on a very irregular schedule.
Fatigue is a common problem for truck drivers and the most common contributing
factor in trucking accidents.
Driving at night increases fatigue for many reasons:
- Stress cause by poor visibility
- Interference with normal sleeping patterns (circadian rhythm)
- Lowered visual acuity
Driving at night lowers visibility, even in clear weather. Just a few factors
that reduce visibility when driving at night include:
- Area of vision reduced to headlight beams
- More difficult to gauge the speed of other vehicles
- Increased glare
Semi tractor-trailer trucks need significantly more stopping distance than
passenger vehicles. They simply cannot make sudden stops. Since driving
at night makes it very difficult to gauge the speed of other vehicles,
truck drivers cannot always determine ahead of time that the vehicle they
are approaching is traveling very slow or even stopped in the road.
Truck drivers are not the only ones who have difficulty seeing to drive.
The visibility problem works both ways. Even when other drivers see the
truck, they do not always see the entire trailer. This can lead to an
underride accident; the most deadly type of truck vs. car collision. That's
why our personal injury attorneys are committed to helping clients through
the Washington, DC area fight for the compensation they need and deserve
after a serious
Underride accidents can be prevented with adequate lighting and reflectors
which make it possible to see the entire profile of the truck and help
other drivers properly ascertain their distance. Partial lighting can
be misleading, giving the illusion that the truck is farther away. Dirty
lights and reflectors can be obscured from view, making the truck appear
shorter in length than it really is, and causing drivers to hit the truck
from the rear or change lanes, hitting the truck from the side.
Truck drivers are required to use extra caution at night and to inspect
their trucks, including the safety equipment, before getting on the road
to prevent truck accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured or
killed in a trucking accident in Washington, DC, please contact the truck
accident attorneys at Chaikin Sherman Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. to
speak with our Washington, DC truck accident lawyers. We have the knowledge
and experience to help you when special circumstances, such as night driving,
contributed to your accident.
Contact us today.