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Austin Personal Injury Blog

Thursday, December 27, 2018

NTSB Finds Driver Fatigue Contributed to Fatal Texas Bus Crash

How does fatigue impact one’s ability to drive?

A horrific bus accident in Dallas recently killed nine people and injured nearly 40 others.  The National Transportation Safety Board launched an investigation following the roll over crash.  In its report released on the incident, the NTSB found that the bus driver was suffering from an acute sleep deficit which likely contributed to the driver leaving the road and overcorrecting, causing the bus to flip.  Our Austin, Texas automobile and bus accident attorneys explore the impact of driver fatigue on the Dallas bus driver and how drivers nationwide may be negatively affected by fatigue.

NTSB Explores the Dallas Crash

NTSB regulators examining the bus crash found that the bus driver had little sleep prior to the accident. The bus driver was found to have hyperglycemia as a result of his diabetes.  His fatigue may have contributed to the bus leaving the roadway and ultimately crashing. Other contributing factors did exist. NTSB investigators found that the area of the highway where the crash happened had not been treated with the usual pavement texture to prevent skids.  This was corrected soon after the accident.

Fatigue and Driver Behavior

Fatigue is an under-recognized but common cause of accidents across the nation.  Tired driving can occur as a result of a driver not getting enough sleep or due to untreated sleep disorders.  Medication, alcohol use, or working overnight shifts can also cause extreme fatigue. Drowsiness among drivers can have the following ill effects:

 

  • Tired drivers may not pay attention to the road ahead;
  • Drivers suffering from fatigue could experience slowed reaction times, preventing them from braking or steering in time to avoid an accident;
  • Extreme tiredness can affect a driver’s ability to make good decisions.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that tired driving causes over 72,000 accidents per year, resulting in over 44,000 injuries and 800 deaths. It is likely that this figure is actually an underrepresentation of the true incidence of drowsy driving accidents, which are likely to go undetected by responding police officers.  

Drivers should be aware of the potential negative impact of driving while tired.  Drivers should ensure they get a good night sleep before setting off on the road and have any unusual fatigue investigated by a medical professional.  If you are injured in a car accident and believe fatigue may have been a factor, consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

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