Asleep at the Wheel Accidents

The leading auto accident attorneys of Peter Thompson & Associates are dedicated to helping victims injured by negligence. We have successfully handled numerous cases involving accidents caused by drivers asleep at the wheel and have represented victims of this type of accident throughout the State.

Drowsiness during driving may be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Lack of sleep
  • A medical condition
  • Intoxication or drug use
  • Prescription medication
  • Lack of nearby rest stops
  • Graveyard shifts or overwork
  • Too many hours on the road
  • Unexpected side effect of medication

Falling asleep at the wheel is almost always considered negligent. Negligence is a legal term describing the breach of a legal duty owed to another. Personal injury law is based on the concept that negligent parties are held liable for injuries caused by their actions. Under these principles, drivers owe a basic legal duty to safely operate their cars. The most fundamental requirement to fulfill this duty is to remain awake and alert at the wheel. With few exceptions, fault for falling asleep at the wheel is always attributed to the driver because it is the most obvious breach of a legal duty to exercise reasonable care.

People almost always know when they are getting sleepy long before they actually fall asleep at the wheel. Sometimes they are in a hurry to reach their destination or have some other reasons not to heed the warnings of drowsiness. The law provides that a “reasonable” person who experiences signs of drowsiness should pull over to rest or take other steps to address their sleepiness. Failure to do so constitutes negligence and is unlawful.

Maine law takes negligent driving seriously, especially with regard to commercial carriers. Motorists who operate large tractor-trailers and 18-wheelers are required to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Federal and state laws specifically require that these drivers maintain a log of driving hours so that they do not get tired on the road. Drivers who fail to maintain a log or drive over the permitted number of hours are liable to injured parties for any harm caused by their negligence. Falling asleep at the wheel of a big rig due to intoxication or failure to conduct required safety inspections are alternative grounds for revocation or suspension of the driver’s CDL.

If you were injured by a driver asleep at the wheel, the experienced car accident lawyers at Peter Thompson & Associates can help. For years, we have been dedicated to protecting the rights of injury victims throughout Maine. We have successfully represented numerous victims who suffer irreparable harm in accidents caused by negligent drivers. Many of these accidents are the result of drivers falling asleep at the wheel. At Peter Thompson & Associates, we understand that accidents are traumatic. We are devoted to helping you obtain the compensation you deserve. To speak with one of our knowledgeable lawyers, call 800.804.2004 or contact us online.

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