An Ohio music store owner was on a Greyhound bus in 2013 when the bus driver fell asleep as he was traveling along a highway. The sleeping bus driver rear-ended a tractor trailer, causing a devastating accident. The Ohio bus passenger, who is now 45 years old, had to undergo more than 30 surgeries to repair torn shoulder muscles, a hole in his heart, and crushed bones in his arm, pelvis, and foot. He also lost his right leg. He told Cleveland.com that the whole experience had been "complete hell" because it has "made the most simple of things very difficult."
The man decided to sue Greyhound for the rear-end accident, claiming the bus company failed to enforce a rule requiring drivers to stop every 150 miles. Greyhound's contradictory rules and failure to enforce the 150-mile rule, coupled with the company's lack of adequate training, was alleged to have been a demonstration of reckless indifference to passengers and other motorists. The jury agreed with the Ohio man who sued, and the injured music store owner was awarded $27 million in compensation for the harm the rear-end crash caused.
Fatigued Driving Can Cause Rear-End Accidents
This tragic Greyhound bus accident was not the only rear-end collision to occur as a result of a driver being too tired to operate a vehicle safety. Fatigued driving is a common cause of rear-end accidents because driver fatigue can make safe operation of a vehicle impossible.
When a driver actually falls asleep behind the wheel, there is a substantial risk the sleeping motorist will hit any car in front. This can not only injure passengers in the rear vehicle (like the passengers who were aboard the Greyhound bus) but also cause significant injuries or fatalities to those in the car which was hit by the sleeping driver.
Even if the driver manages to stay awake, exhaustion can significantly increase the risk of an accident. Studies have demonstrated drivers who have been awake for too long can experience many of the same impairments as a driver who has consumed above the legal limit of alcohol. A driver who has been awake for a long period of time can have delayed reaction time, impaired reflexes, and reduced cognitive function.
Overtired motorists who are struggling to stay awake and dealing with the effects of fatigue are likely to end up striking the vehicle in front of them because they may not be able to stay focused enough to see what the lead car is doing or may not be quick enough to react in time and hit their brakes when the car in front of them stops or slows down. When this happens, the fatigued driver can be held accountable for losses resulting from the collision.
If you or a loved one is injured in Youngstown, OH, Akron Ohio or surrounding areas, call Gervelis Law Firm at 866-622-4096 or contact us online to discuss how an injury attorney can represent you.