A man from Sandersville in Washington County died last week when his truck crashed into a tractor trailer. According to Georgia State Patrol, the victim David Perry Williams was driving a pickup and following the 18 wheeler. As the tractor trailer slowed to make a turn, the pickup struck the rear of the trailer, killing Williams instantly.
Georgia State Patrol troopers believe that Williams likely fell asleep at the wheel. There was no indication at the accident scene that he had attempted to stop the pickup. Williams wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, but considering the massive impact of the crash, troopers believe that a seat belt wouldn’t have helped. According to witnesses at the scene of the crash, Williams had just finished his third shift at work, and was on his way home.
It appears quite likely that Williams was suffering from a severe lack of sleep because of his hectic work schedule. We should be as concerned about car accidents that occur when a motorist falls asleep at the wheel, but somehow, as New Jersey personal injury lawyer Scott Grossman says, drowsy driving is not taken as seriously in the country as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
This can be seen in our lack of effective legislation against driving while fatigued, as well as the fact that Atlanta car accident lawyers see more cases of drunk driving accidents than crashes resulting from driving while fatigued. The reason for this could be that, as the National Sleep Foundation says, drowsy driving is vastly underreported. As of now, New Jersey is the only state in the US to have laws against drowsy driving. In Georgia, a driver who falls asleep at the wheel and causes a fatal accident can face charges of second degree vehicular homicide. In case of a non-fatal accident, the drowsy motorist could face charges of distracted driving, but that’s about it.
Being deprived of sleep may cause delayed responses and impaired judgment similar to those experienced while a person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It’s about time we took the matter seriously, and urged our lawmakers to pass tougher laws that prevent motorists from getting behind the wheel in a fatigued state.