Tips To Prove A Driver's Drowsiness After A Truck Accident

Law Blog

Many truck drivers work long hours and get inadequate sleep, which increases their risk of accidents. Unfortunately, many truck accident victims struggle to prove drowsiness as the cause of their misfortunes. Below are some tips to help you prove a truck driver's drowsiness after an accident.

Pre-driving Activities

Everyone needs sleep. A truck driver who doesn't get adequate sleep before getting behind the wheel risks drowsiness once they are on the road. A truck driver who engages in exhausting activities when they should be asleep risks drowsiness even more.

You can use a driver's pre-driving activities to argue for drowsiness. Say a driver was engaged in a second job for hours before a lengthy drive. You can use the hours of pre-driving work to argue for drowsiness.


Alcohol and other intoxicating substances have different effects on different people. For example, some people feel drowsy when intoxicated. Some people even feel drowsy after taking a little alcohol that is not enough to get them drunk. If you find that the driver used an intoxicating substance before driving, use the fact to further your drowsiness claim.

Nature of Accident

The police and other accident reconstruction experts can evaluate accidents and understand how they occur even after the fact. Accident investigators review accident scenes and vehicle damage to make their conclusions.

For example, the investigators may suspect that the driver was asleep if the skid marks, damage, and EDR (event data recorder) all show that the driver did not do any of these before the crash:

  • Brake
  • Accelerate
  • Steer

You may need an expert witness to help you explain the accident investigation results in court.

Eyewitness Testimony

You may have eyewitness testimony proving the driver's drowsiness just before the accident if you are lucky. For example, pedestrians or motorists in adjacent lanes might have seen the driver slumped on the wheel or nodding off. The value of such testimony means that you should canvas the accident scene for potential eyewitnesses.

Camera Footage

Footage from different cameras may show pictures and videos of the driver's drowsy state. For example, some trucks have dashboard cameras that capture videos inside and outside the vehicle. Subpoena footage of the driver's drowsiness and use it to strengthen your case.

Medical History

Medical problems trigger driver drowsiness in different ways. For example:

  • Some medical problems induce drowsiness.
  • Pain and discomfort interfere with sleep, and inadequate sleep induces drowsiness.
  • Some medical drugs have drowsiness as a side effect.

Thus, the driver's medical history may help prove your case.

Contact an 18 wheeler accident attorney to learn more. 


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