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Expert Witnesses Provide Testimony on Driver Fatigue

Expert testimony about fatigued driving generally revolves around the different health problems a person may have while behind the wheel and becoming tired or exhausted to the point of falling asleep. Others may have additional stress, are driving after a long day or become fatigued through different problems that may arise to possibly cause an accident.

Possible Health Conditions

There are several different conditions a person may experience that affects his or her health that may cause problems when driving. To increase symptoms of and further harm with fatigue, the ailment may also cause the driver to become distracted by his or her own exhaustion. The expert witness will need to explain the possible health conditions this person may experience such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy and even insomnia that could seize the individual behind the wheel into a sudden bought of sleepiness or drowsiness from continuous fatigue. The discussion and explanation of these conditions may explain the wreck, incident and injury.

Fatigue Explained

For those in the courtroom that do not understand what usual and chronic fatigue are, the expert will need to provide a better explanation. The impairment that happens
through fatigue may occur through several or multiple symptoms either apart or all together. The driver may exhibit these while operating a vehicle. The fatigue may show signs through drowsiness, sleepiness, excessive yawns and headaches. Others may have physical issues such as with bowels, high blood pressure and issues breathing. An expert in these matters will need to both remove the confusion of what fatigue is and how these problems exist.

Excessive Hours

There are some drivers that will suffer fatigue because of the excessive hours of driving for a company. Some of these individuals are employees under the business while others are contractors that acquire work separately from entity workers. The excessive hours they perform vehicle operations may lead to continual fatigue that may last longer than it should where no rest gives the sufficient break from work performance. The expert will explain how this contributes to the accident and why the company is liable for these actions. In many traffic accidents, the driver will lose focus because of this fatigue.

Impairment on the Road

While the driver may suffer from a sleep disorder or excessive work through a company such as a trucking organization, he or she will also suffer from mental and cognitive impairment. Others will have decreases in motor skills when they cannot sleep or rest properly. Fatigue may affect all senses, but the visual and auditory are the most important when on the road or in traffic. These incidents that harm others may hold both the driver and a company liable depending on the findings of the expert witness and how he or she explains the matter fully.

Revisions to Regulations

It is through an expert witness on a case where accidents happen because of fatigue that companies are able to push through with revisions to previously held regulations in hours of work. Trucking companies must adhere to shorter periods of driving for employees and contractors because of the testimony of an expert witness in these claims. The testimony given by an expert in fatigued driving may help to change laws and rules with various companies as well. This may include nearly any business that has someone driving that is already suffering from fatigue before entering the car.

The increase in car crashes requires that an expert in these subject matters becomes involved to explain various issues that may occur through the issue related to fatigue. Someone that cannot remain aware could cause an accident or may not avoid it when a vehicle gets too close on the road. Others could suffer detrimental symptoms from sleep disorders that could harm passengers and other drivers.

The Testimony of a Fatigued Driver Expert Witness

Most expert witnesses hired for driving accidents will have some experience with sleep disorders if the professional must discuss one of several reasons the incident occurred. Others will need to explain the possible problems that may occur such as impairment from numerous possible issues that could exist. Testimony usually corroborates a specific story such as fatigue or drowsiness.

Distractions and electronics could play a role as well. The expert witness will need to discuss and explain how fatigue causes driving accidents and how the injuries have a direct correlation to the person suffering fatigue. Through the professional, the judge or jury panel may better understand the conditions of this driver and the incident.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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