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Asleep at the Wheel: Dangerous Driving in Atlanta

Modes of travel throughout Atlanta take many forms: by motorcycle, car, truck or bus. With the large volume of motor vehicles on the road, drivers need to stay alert and distraction-free, especially if they’re driving a big rig, but they sometimes do not.

Throughout the United States and Atlanta, the dangers of impaired truck driving are well-known. Like drunk driving, fatigued driving is a form of impaired driving that makes few headlines — until the driver of a charter bus makes a mistake or a truck driver falls asleep at the wheel, causing an accident that kills or injures others.

In July 2013, rules revised by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) went into full effect, reducing the number of hours per week that a truck driver can operate a vehicle. The revisions are intended to address problems with drowsy driving — an issue affecting anyone operating a car or truck in Atlanta or elsewhere.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 100,000 collisions per year are attributed to fatigued driving. Consider these points about drowsy driving:

  • Driving while tired is driving impaired. Reaction time, physical coordination and decision-making are affected by a lack of sleep, just as they are by alcohol.
  • Chronic or acute sleep deprivation and sleep-inducing and other type of medications cause drowsy driving.
  • Physical disorders, such as narcolepsy and sleep apnea, cause daytime drowsiness. Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder, with dangerous side effects that include daytime fatigue, cardiac strain and other serious conditions.

If you drive, get enough sleep. If you see another car or a truck drifting from lane to lane, the driver just might be asleep at the wheel. When you’re involved in an accident caused by the negligence or the sleepiness of another driver, seek skilled legal advice.