You might be eligible for sizeable compensation if you were hurt in an accident brought on by a fatigued truck driver. However, it can be challenging to demonstrate that a professional driver was fatigued or fell asleep behind the wheel. If you find yourself in such a position, being aware of the factors contributing to truck driver weariness is helpful.
An experienced trucking accident lawyer can investigate whether driver fatigue played a role in the collision. But why do truck drivers experience fatigue? The following are the most typical reasons why commercial truck drivers become fatigued and have crashes:
Sometimes truck drivers feel sleepy from not getting enough sleep. It is common knowledge that our bodies require rest to function correctly. Truck drivers work a lot of overtime to transport merchandise over large distances.
They frequently leave early and continue driving until well after dark. Truck drivers may become sleepy due to long hours and stress. This sleepiness can seriously affect a truck driver’s capacity to make wise decisions and steer clear of potentially hazardous circumstances on the road.
Abuse of hours of service
Hours of service are “the maximum period that drivers are allowed to be on duty, including driving time,” according to the FMCSA. Regulations governing hours of service also specify the “number and duration of rest times, to help guarantee that drivers stay awake and attentive.”
Additionally, trucking businesses must make sure that their drivers follow the rules. Unfortunately, hours of service infractions are frequent, and trucking companies frequently encourage or even require their drivers to work longer hours than is reasonable. Abuse of hours of service leads to truck driver fatigue which raises the risk of major and fatal trucking accidents.
Failure to acknowledge fatigue signs
Every driver should be able to spot the symptoms of weariness and be willing to stop and take a break when it is no longer safe to operate a vehicle. The same goes for truck drivers.
But truck drivers frequently fail to recognize the indicators of exhaustion, whether due to work-related stress or a simple desire to get home early. This includes indications like:
- Having trouble keeping your attention on the road
- Drifting off the road
- Struggling to maintain an upright posture or open eyes
- A lot of yawning
- Zoning out
Numerous prescription drugs have the potential to make you feel fatigued, and this covers everything from over-the-counter sleep aids to prescription painkillers and antiviral treatments. Truck drivers should either avoid taking a prescription if drowsiness is one of its possible adverse effects or take it when it won’t affect their driving ability.
Several health disorders might make you tired, including chronic diseases like diabetes and seasonal illnesses like the flu. The body does not have the usual amount of resources available to manage ordinary tasks, such as driving, when it is devoting energy to fighting off an illness or disease.
Frequently, exhaustion brought on by illnesses might strike out of nowhere. For truck drivers, this can make it challenging to reach a safe location before getting into an accident.