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McComb Witten Marcoux

Driver Fatigue - It's a Big Deal

Jeffrey S. Witten, B.A., LL.B.
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Personal Injury Lawyer at McComb Witten Marcoux

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A coroner’s report released today has concluded that driver fatigue played a major role in a crash that killed two veteran paramedics on Vancouver Island.

It was October 19th 2010. The paramedic who was driving the ambulance fell asleep. And the ambulance jumped a concrete barrier then rocketed into Vancouver Island Lake.


It’s a tragic accident. One that robbed two families of their loved ones.  And a  community of  heroes who dedicated their lives to serving others.

We all know paramedics work hard and handle life and death situations on a regular basis.

But just because you’re not out there saving people’s lives doesn’t mean that you’re immune from the dangers of driver fatigue.

Far from it.

That’s why this tragedy should be a wake up call.

For all of us.


Tired/ fatigued/ tired drivers are often sloppy.

They have difficultly processing information, concentrating and react more slowly. So it doesn’t take much imagination to see that fatigue can be a recipe for disaster. Especially when behind the wheel of a car.

A recent survey found that 57% of Canadians admitted to “occasionally” driving while fatigued.

It’s no wonder then that there are so many accidents involving drowsy drivers.


Have you been injured in an accident? Do you suspect that the other driver’s ability to operate his/her vehicle was impaired by fatigue?

It’s an important question. And one that all too often gets overlooked when determining who’s at fault for a car accident.

But here’s the thing.

It’s not enough to "suspect" that the other driver involved in your accident was drowsy (and that this caused/contributed to the accident).


You’ve got to be able to prove it.

So what types of questions should you and your lawyer be asking?


Here’s a taste:


  • How many hours sleep did the other driver get in the 24hrs before the crash?
  • What did the other driver do for work? How many hours did the other driver work the day prior to the accident and when did his/her shift start and finish?
  • When did the driver wakeup on the day of the accident ?
  • Did the other driver consume alcohol, drugs or medication in the 24hrs before the accident?
  • Does the other driver suffer from a sleep disorder of any kind?
  • What did the other driver eat in the hours preceding the accident?


And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.


So if you’ve been involved in an accident make sure you wake up to driver fatigue. It could be difference between success and failure when it comes to your ICBC injury claim.


Got questions? Call me at 604-255-9018 or drop me a line at [email protected]


Jeff Witten

McComb Witten Personal Injury Lawyers


Category: Motorcycle Accidents

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