Suing for a Truck Accident Caused by a Drowsy Trucker in Maryland

Truckers are often pushed very hard by their employers to meet schedules. Often, this results in truckers staying awake for long periods of time, perhaps consuming excessive amounts of caffeine or even stimulating drugs to remain conscious. But what happens when they fall asleep behind the wheel? What happens when these heavy vehicles start to veer out of their lanes, into innocent motorists? Can you sue for a semi-truck accident in Maryland caused by this type of negligence?

Is Drowsy Driving a Form of Negligence?

Only two states have specific laws against drowsy driving. These are New Jersey and Arkansas. Arkansas defines fatigue as being away for a period of 24 consecutive hours. New Jersey is the same, and its legislation is known as “Maggie’s Law.” Under this law, drivers can be charged with vehicular homicide if they kill someone on the road after going without sleep for more than 24 hours.

Maryland is not one of these states, and it has no specific laws against drowsy driving. However, this does not mean drowsy drivers will go unpunished for causing accidents. For most states, it’s simply a matter of charging negligent drivers with other related crimes, such as reckless driving or vehicular homicide without specifically mentioning their drowsiness as a factor.

While there are no criminal laws against drowsy driving in Maryland, you can certainly point to drowsiness as a form of negligence in a civil lawsuit. For example, police might determine that a trucker was behind the wheel for over 24 hours without stopping to sleep before veering out of their lane and crashing into you. You could use their police report as evidence of negligence in your subsequent personal injury lawsuit.

Governor Hogan Warns Against Drowsy Driving

In November of 2022, Governor Hogan warned residents to avoid drowsy driving at all costs. The Maryland Department of Transportation took the opportunity to recognize November 6-13th as Drowsy Driving Prevention Week along with the National Sleep Foundation. Governor Hogan pointed out that:

“We hope highlighting the dangers and consequences of drowsy driving will educate Marylanders so they can avoid this unnecessary risk. Maryland is committed to achieving zero deaths on our highways, and that requires that motorists make the choice to drive alert, sober and focused.”

Mentioning sobriety and wakefulness in the same breath was not a slip of the tongue. Studies have determined that when someone goes 24 hours without sleep, they function in the same way as someone with a 0.08 BAC level.

Where Can I Find a Qualified Truck Accident Attorney in Pasadena?

If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced truck accident attorney in Pasadena, look no further than Murnane & O’Neill, Attorneys at Law. We know how dangerous the trucking industry is, and we can help you hold trucking companies accountable for pushing their drivers beyond their physical limits. With our assistance, you can strive for compensation for your medical expenses, missed wages, emotional distress, and much more. Book your consultation today to get started with an effective action plan.



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Murnane & O’Neill, Attorneys at Law

549 Broadwater Court
Arnold, MD, 21012


If you have further questions about this article or legal concerns, call 800-672-3103

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