I didn't fall asleep. What's my best course of action?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by anonyscrewed, Oct 24, 2021.

  1. anonyscrewed

    anonyscrewed Bobtail Member

    Oct 24, 2021
    This'll probably get long, so thank you in advance for reading through it. I'll try to make it as easy to read as possible.

    I'm currently a team driver. Three days ago, we ended a much-longer-than-34 hour reset; the truck was in the shop, and we spent several days in the hotel.

    Two nights ago, I had a little trouble falling asleep, but that's okay because I slept for an additional two hours passed the time I usually get up to start my shift. In all, I got about seven and a half hours of sleep.

    So I got plenty of sleep before starting my shift yesterday. I got up, did my PTI, had breakfast, and started driving. At this point, I'm feeling angry over about a dozen different things, but otherwise fine. Definitely awake.

    About fifty minutes of driving later (I was driving in the mountains and monitoring the trip details to keep an eye on my MPG), I started feeling nauseous. I figured it was just my breakfast not sitting well, so I continued driving. A couple minutes later, I started to feel dizzy. Big red flag. So I put my foot on the brake, apply pressure, and immediately black out.

    The tractor stopped after drifting about 400 yards away from the lane I started in, stopped by getting caught on a railroad track. Thankfully the only damage was to the tractor, trailer, and a livestock fence. And my face.

    I woke up when my head slammed into the steering wheel.

    The people in the ambulance checked my blood sugar. It was fine. Blood pressure fine. Got to the hospital. EKG and CAT scan turn out fine as well.

    Still felt dizzy and nauseous. Not sure how much of that was from the accident and everything related versus the symptoms felt before blacking out. All I know is I wasn't tired. Not before, and not after. Physically exhausted, sure, but no heavy eyelids or anything suggesting sleepiness.

    I'm not sure what happened. I have a few theories (stress and dietary are my main suspects), but I'm not a doctor. I'll talk to one eventually.

    The important thing right now is finding out what I should do to protect my license. My insurance with this company isn't valid until the beginning of next month, so I can't use their legal services.

    The highway patrolman said, "Any time a driver falls asleep while driving, we cite them for careless driving." So that's what he gave me.

    Obviously I need to do everything I can to find the true cause of blacking out, but that's medical. I need legal advice. Do I need to talk to a lawyer from the state of the incident? Can I use anyone? Is there a team anyone has used before and can recommend?

    Also, has anyone experienced this, or know someone who has? I don't expect to keep my current employer, though I hope for the best.

    Any words of wisdom, advice, or encouragement are welcome.
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  3. buddyd157

    buddyd157 Road Train Member

    May 25, 2017
    under a shade tree
    seek legal counsel in the state it happened in. if you are a member of the OOIDA, contact them for attorney's that are trucking experienced in that state.

    you will have to get this "black out episode" diagnosed. that will go a long way in your defense, but this depends on how quick you can get medical help.

    do not plead guilty to the ticket, hopefully by the time it goes to trial, you will have answers.

    good luck
  4. austinmike

    austinmike Road Train Member

    Jul 11, 2011
    Hire a lawyer. Not sure how to pick a good one. Last one I used everything was done on the phone and email. Good Luck
    anonyscrewed, buddyd157 and Bean Jr. Thank this.
  5. wore out

    wore out Numbered Classic

    Jun 5, 2013
    Honestly go with you fell asleep if the goal is protecting your license. Any talk of black outs, fainting, siezures,dizziness etc they will yank your medical card Immediately. It’s hell to get back on a deal like that. The lesson of two evils is careless driving
  6. Gliding ProStar

    Gliding ProStar Medium Load Member

    Nov 12, 2016
    Waxahachie, Texas
    I totally agree with this statement although this is my opinion. I am not a lawyer or a doctor.

    A careless driving citation and a mark on your record for 3 years is better than not having a CDL because you cannot obtain a medical card.

    This may limit your work opportunities during this time period but there are plenty of companies out there that will still hire you. Be honest with your answers. Don't offer a bunch of unsolicited information if they don't ask for it.

    You may even be stuck with a 1099 job from a smaller company but it's better than being unemployed. Seek legal advice from the state the incident occurred in. A lawyer from that state should know the laws of that state and what your best course of action should be.
  7. loudtom

    loudtom Road Train Member

    Aug 26, 2016
    So it's better to protect someone's CDL than it is to protect the people sharing the roads from someone who blacks out? I also think anyone suggesting that someone should lie about anything should reevaluate their moral compass.
  8. wore out

    wore out Numbered Classic

    Jun 5, 2013
    I also am neither a Dr. nor Attorney. I also don’t know the op circumstances however odds are nothing is wrong with him. Only he truly knows if he should drive or not.

    I honestly feel the way the post was written I steered him to follow his moral compass and tell the truth. Again only he knows that.....and here isn’t the only place to get that info should he choose not too.
  9. delman

    delman Bobtail Member

    Dec 29, 2019
    Have the truck checked out. It could have been carbon monoxide poisoning from an exhaust leak. Sounds like the same problem someone I knew had.
  10. Kyle G.

    Kyle G. Road Train Member

    Jan 23, 2016
    Eastern Iowa
    If I don’t ask it someone else will... Did you get any new vaccines recently?
    TexasKGB, Badmon, AModelCat and 4 others Thank this.
  11. anonyscrewed

    anonyscrewed Bobtail Member

    Oct 24, 2021
    Just got off the phone with the ER that did my blood tests. Negative for carbon monoxide.

    I did have my second Moderna dose two Mondays ago, so it wasn't VERY recent, but not exactly "in the past" either.
    TexasKGB, T.Rucker, Lite bug and 3 others Thank this.
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