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Fatigued drivers cause numerous car accidents each year

The fast pace of today's society often leaves people feeling as though they do not get enough sleep. Few New Jersey drivers can say that they have never gotten behind the wheel of their vehicles when they were fatigued. Doing so can be just as dangerous as driving drunk, and numerous car accidents that occur here and elsewhere in the country are caused by drivers who fall asleep at the wheel.

Sometime prior to 6:22 a.m. on a recent Thursday morning, a pickup truck traveling south on Route 55 veered into the northbound lane and crashed into another vehicle. The impact caused the second vehicle to enter the southbound lane and hit a tractor-trailer. The 62-year-old driver of the second vehicle succumbed to fatal injuries at the scene.

The 38-year-old semi-truck driver suffered injuries that were not considered to be life-threatening. The 27-year-old pickup truck driver did not need to go to the hospital, but instead was treated by emergency medical personnel at the scene. The New Jersey State Police reported that he fell asleep at the wheel, which led to the accident. Impairment is not suspected as being a factor, and at last report, no charges had been filed.

Outside of the potential for criminal charges, the family of the deceased driver may file a wrongful death claim against the driver believed to be at fault. In addition, even though the tractor-trailer driver might receive workers' compensation benefits, he could file a personal injury claim as well. In either case, proving that the pickup truck driver was negligent could result in awards of damages typically seen in car accidents.

Source: nj.com, "Driver fell asleep in fatal Route 55 head-on collision, police say", Don E. Woods, Sept. 22, 2016

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