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Fatigued Driving, The Move Over Law, and You

Published on Jul 1, 2019 at 12:04 am in Truck Accidents.

An Albuquerque and Texas trucking accident lawyer, such as an attorney at Buckingham & Barrera, is well versed with fatigued driving and the Move Over Law. Unfortunately, there are many drivers on the road today who are likely too tired to be operating vehicles. Fatigued driving impairs judgment, reaction time, and can lead to tragic consequences; the size and weight of a truck only amplify the damage, as one state trooper and her family, unfortunately, had to learn.

On March 28 in Illinois, a fatigued driver crashed into a state trooper cruiser, the trooper herself, and a stopped truck on the side of the road. The officer pulled the truck over for a routine inspection, parked her car behind the truck, and was in the middle of her work when the driver barreled into her car. If the driver were not overly-tired, he would have remembered to follow the Move Over Law.

The Move Over Law requires drivers to switch into the next lane from a stopped emergency vehicle with the lights flashing to provide proper and ample space to first responders and officers as they perform their tasks free from danger. Each of the 50 states has enacted this law to protect emergency responders after a high number of incidents across the U.S occurred. If an additional lane is not available to move into in order to provide buffer space for troopers or workers, it is required that the driver slow down and move over as much as possible. However, a fatigued driver, such as that of a truck driver neglecting to sleep properly, or take necessary breaks, would forget, or miss this requirement.

Fatigued driving, otherwise known as drowsy driving, is a form of impaired driving and according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is the cause of 100,000
police reported crashes per year, resulting in more than 1,550 fatalities and 71,000 injuries. Additionally, driving after being awake for 20 hours, or more, is the equivalent to operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08%.

There are multiple signs of fatigued driving, including:

  • Frequent yawning or difficulty keeping your eyes open
  • “Nodding” or having trouble keeping your head up
  • Inability to remember driving the last few miles
  • Missing road signs or turns
  • Difficulty maintaining your speed
  • Drifting out of your lane

If you, or another driver, such as the one involved in the aforementioned incident, are found to be fatigued, a negligence charge can be brought forth. When faced with an accident with a truck driver, consult an trucking accident lawyer and consider the effects of fatigued driving, or if the Move Over Law could have been followed. No one can predict when an accident will happen, but our attorneys at Buckingham & Barerra are ready to assist you should you find yourself in the unexpected event. Call us today for more information regarding trucking accidents and to speak with a trucking accident lawyer.

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