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SUV Hit by Sleepy Driver in Massachusetts Turnpike Accident, Authorities Say

A recent tractor-trailer accident on the Massachusetts Turnpike took out a sports utility vehicle and caused traffic to back up for four miles between Exits 8 and 9. According to Charlton State Trooper Darren Specht, officers responded to the incident shortly before 5:30 a.m. The accident involved an SUV that had been rear-ended by a tractor-trailer.
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After the initial collision between the SUV and the tractor-trailer, the truck reportedly hit the road’s guardrail and slid down the embankment. According to Mass Live, the driver of the tractor-trailer may have fallen asleep just seconds before the collision. The truck driver was transported to Wing Memorial Hospital while the driver of the SUV was believed to be uninjured.

Our Massachusetts trucking accident attorneys understand how dangerous driving on the Massachusetts Turnpike can be. For this reason, we ask that all drivers stay off the roadway if they’re feeling drowsy or sleepy. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) drowsy driving contributes to approximately 100,000 police-reported accidents every year. Experts believe the actual number is much higher because not all drivers willingly confess they were drowsy at the time of an accident. Drowsy driving accounts for nearly 2,000 fatalities and more than 70,000 injuries every year. These are costly accidents, too. Experts estimate that drowsy driving accidents cost the nation nearly $13 billion in monetary losses each year.

Drowsy Driving Facts, according to DrowsyDriving.org:

-There is no test, like a Breathalyzer, to determine if sleepiness contributed to a traffic accident.

-Officers are rarely trained in identifying if drowsiness was an accident factor.

-Self-reporting is unreliable.

-Adult drivers between the ages of 18- and 29-years-old are more likely to drive while drowsy.

-Male drivers are more likely to drive while drowsy than women drivers.

-Male drivers are twice as likely as women to fall asleep at the wheel.

-Adults with children at home are more likely to drive drowsy than adults who have no children in their house.

-Night shift workers are more likely than regular daytime workers to drive while drowsy.

-Drivers who sleep six to eight hours a night are twice as likely to be involved in a drowsy driving-related accident than drivers who regularly get eight hours of sleep.

-Being awake for 18 hours impairs a driver on the same level as someone who has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05. For someone awake 24 hours, they are impaired with the same reaction time as a person with a BAC of 0.10. You’re considered to be drunk if you have a BAC of 0.08 or higher.

-A number of drowsy driving accidents have resulted in jail sentences for the driver.

-There have been multi-million dollar settlements awarded to family members of accident victims as a result of lawsuits that were filed against drivers and businesses who were involved in drowsy-driving accidents.

You’re urged to refrain from driving if you feel sleepy. According to the latest poll from DrowsyDriving.org, only about 30 percent of Americans get seven or more hours of sleep regularly. That means that 70 percent of divers on our roadways are at serious risks for a drowsy driving car accident.

If you or someone in your family has been injured in a car accident with a drowsy driver in Massachusetts, contact Boston Injury Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman. Our firm offers free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call 877-617-5333.

Additional Resources:

Tractor trailer crash causes four-mile traffic jam on Mass. Turnpike in Warren, by Elizabeth Roman, Mass Live
More Blog Entries:

Parents Offered New Resource to Help Reduce Risks of Teen Car Accidents in Massachusetts
, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, January 15, 2012

Politicians Rethink Laws to Help Reduce Risks of Car Accidents in Massachusetts, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, January 13, 2012