How Does Fatigue Affect Truck Accidents?
Truck accidents are among the most dangerous and devastating types of motor vehicle accidents. Because of their limited visibility, increased stopping times, and extreme weight, large trucks are often involved in serious accidents, causing severe injury to those involved. One common cause of such incidents is truck driver fatigue.
Driving while fatigued or exhausted is dangerous for anyone behind the wheel, but particularly for truck drivers, whose vehicles and cargo are prone to cause greater damage when involved in an accident. There are several causes of fatigued driving, a few of which have been outlined below.
What Is Fatigued Driving?
Fatigued driving is any instance where a driver does not get the proper amount of sleep and is unable to maintain their focus on the road or remain alert while driving. For truck drivers, this can be extremely dangerous, as trucks are often traveling greater distances and are carrying heavier cargo or bigger loads. Driving while experiencing fatigue is extremely dangerous, as it poses a threat to both the truck driver and the motorists with whom they share the road.
Causes of Fatigued Driving
There are many factors that may contribute to or cause fatigued driving. A few common examples include:
- Extreme hours: when a truck driver is behind the wheel for more hours than is federally regulated, they are at risk for fatigued driving. This can also occur when a truck driver works extremely early or extremely late shifts.
- Shift changes: because many truck drivers work on a rotating basis, they are sometimes required to change shifts at inopportune times. This may prevent a driver from getting the proper amount of sleep and can cause fatigued driving.
- General sleep difficulties: a truck driver who experiences sleep disorders may also be at risk for engaging in fatigued driving. Even if they observe federal regulations for the number of hours they are allowed to drive in one shift, truck drivers who have sleep disorders or general difficulty sleeping are at a higher risk for driving while fatigued.
Effects of Fatigued Driving
While the most obvious consequence of driving while fatigued is the increased risk of being involved in a severe motor vehicle accident, there are several other effects a truck driver might experience should they engage in fatigued driving. A few of the most common effects include:
- Impaired judgment: if a driver hasn’t gotten the proper amount of rest, their judgment and decision-making skills may be impaired. This is particularly dangerous for truck drivers, as they’re forced to make decisions and remain alert while being responsible for enormous vehicles that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds.
- Increased reaction time: truck drivers are also at risk for a slowed reaction time when they engage in fatigued driving. This can be extremely hazardous, as large trucks already require a longer stopping time than other vehicles to begin with.
- Reduced visibility: should a truck driver be drowsy while behind the wheel, they may experience visibility problems, as struggling to keep their eyes open can lead to blurred vision and reduced depth perception.
Truck Driver Fatigue Statistics
According to data from the Large Truck Crash Causation Study, 13 percent of commercial motor vehicle drivers involved in wrecks were considered to have been fatigued at the time of their crash.
The federal Fatality Analysis Reporting System estimates that sleeping or fatigued truck drivers caused 1.5 percent of crashes involving large trucks that resulted in a fatality in 2013.
Data from the United States Department of Transportation reflects that in 2019, 697 people died in crashes involving fatigued drivers across the nation.
Call Chris Hudson Law Group Today
Truck driver fatigue can lead to devastating accidents that leave their victims with severe injuries and serious property damage. If you or someone you love has been injured in a large truck accident that wasn’t your fault, you know how difficult it can be to deal with the effects of such an incident. You may be entitled to compensation for your damages.
Fortunately, the personal injury attorneys at Chris Hudson Law Group are ready to help. We provide moral and legal support for our clients as we communicate with insurance companies, discuss courtroom strategies, gather evidence, and build a compelling truck accident case. We have helped our clients win millions of dollars in compensation for their injuries and damages.
If you’re ready to begin seeking justice, contact Chris Hudson Law Group today at (706) 863-6600. We’ll put you in contact with one of our lawyers so that you can determine the best course of action for your circumstances.
Don’t allow a lack of financial means or legal know-how to keep you from pursuing the compensation you deserve. Give Chris Hudson Law Group a call today.