HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)—All lanes of I-295 North have reopened following an accident involving an overturned tractor-trailer on Wednesday morning. Virginia State Police are now investigating the incident.
Just before 1:30 a.m. on Feb. 5, police responded to mile marker 24 on I-295 North, just south of the Route 285/Pocahontas Parkway exit. There, the fatigued driver of a 2012 Freightliner had run off the left side of the roadway and his vehicle overturned onto the median.
The truck was en route from Savannah, Ga. to Connecticut at the time of the crash. State Police say the truck ran off the left side of the road and overturned because the driver fell asleep.
The driver, 31-year-old Aaron Grear of Aldan, Pa., was charged with reckless driving. He was wearing his seatbelt and did not suffer any injuries.
Due to heavy mud and the weight of the Freightliner, multiple tow trucks were called in to help upright the vehicle. The tractor-trailer was carrying vegetable oil, and crews worked carefully for hours, so as not to spill any oil onto the already slick roads.
It's unclear how long Grear was actually on the road, but the longer you're awake, the less alert you are behind the wheel.
Jannet Brooking with Drive Smart Virginia says up to 30 percent of all crashes happen due to drowsy driving.
In 2012, AAA says more than 3,000 accidents were caused by tired drivers, but they're also some of the most avoidable accidents.
"It's very unfortunate because the crash could've been avoided," she says.
Federal law requires that all commercial truck drivers be on the road no more than 11 hours a day and take at least one break.
Many trucking companies require even more rest.
A recent study shows that if you are awake for 24 hours, you'd be able to pay as much attention as you would if you blew a point 1.0 on a breathalyzer.
Brooking says it's a good idea to stay off the road during times you're usually sleeping - especially between midnight and 6 a.m.
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