St. Louis Night Time Truck Accident Attorneys
Hurt in a Truck Driving Accident at Night? Call 1-800-CAR-CRASH
Three times more injury- and fatal accidents happen at night than accidents that happen during daylight, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Lack of visibility is an obvious culprit in many types of crashes, including those involving large trucks, but other factors are also involved. These include driver fatigue, distraction or confusion from being unable to read road signs or interpret lights or signs at a distance, speeding, and alcohol use, which is more common after dark.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a nighttime crash, call our St. Louis night time truck accident lawyers today for a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help you hold any negligent drivers accountable.
Increasingly, vehicles are equipped with automatic headlights, which come on when a sensor in the lights notices that the outdoor light is insufficient. Since the early 1980s, vehicles have also been required to have “side marker lamps,” or lights that indicate where the corners and edges of the vehicle are. This is especially true for large trucks and buses, which often have lights along their sides and tops so that other vehicles can see the full size and shape of the vehicle.
While automatic headlights and side marker lamps have helped reduce the number of injury-causing crashes at night, they have not helped to reduce fatalities, according to the NHTSA. These lights allow drivers to see the size and shape of an approaching vehicle, often in time to avoid a crash. However, drivers who cannot see a crash coming or do not have time to react do not benefit from lighting alone.
Driver fatigue is a major cause of truck collisions and other motor vehicle accidents. Fatigue is more common at night. The human brain is designed to shut down at night for sleep, so it responds to dark conditions by producing melatonin, a hormone that causes fatigue and sleepiness, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Even drivers who are “used” to driving at night or who think they got adequate sleep during the day are affected by melatonin production.
Drivers who attempt to drive through the hours of 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. are most likely to suffer fatigue that leads to inattention, difficulty responding to emergencies, or even dozing off behind the wheel, according to the FMCSA. When nighttime fatigue strikes, serious injuries can result.
Truck driver fatigue at night can also be caused by the failure to adhere to Hours of Service (HOS) rules implemented by the FMCSA to help limit the amount of hours a truck driver can be on the road. Whether it’s trying to make up for lost time or meet a deadline, there is no excuse for a truck driver to violate the HOS safety rules.
Night Driving and Seat Belts
In 2005, over 43,000 lost their lives on U.S. roads. About 70 percent of these crash victims were not wearing seat belts, according to the NHTSA. Seat belt use decreases at night, often because drivers and passengers assume that, with fewer cars on the road, their risk of an accident is also lowered. However, this lack of seat belt use also contributes to a higher risk of death or serious injury in a nighttime crash.
Experienced Missouri Attorneys Protecting Your Rights
Our Missouri truck driving accident lawyers are well-versed in all the factors that might cause a crash, including the risks of nighttime driving. We have years of experience helping accident victims hold negligent truckers and/or trucking companies liable for injuries and damages that result from a big rig collision. Call us today at 1-800-CAR-CRASH.