The Impact of Driver Fatigue on Truck Accidents

Truck drivers are busier than ever in today’s society as they work to keep up with demand. While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has rules and regulations about how many consecutive hours truckers can be on the road, they may not abide by them.

Trucking companies may additionally push the truck drivers in their fleets to go the distance, despite the regulations. This means that there are many exhausted truckers sharing the roads, putting everyone in grave danger.

What to Know About Truck Driver Fatigue

One common reason for truck accidents to occur is due to extreme fatigue of the trucker. When it comes to operating semi-trucks, tractor trailers, 18-wheelers, and other large commercial vehicles, it takes more than proper training and qualifications. The driver of a vehicle of this size and weight must be physically and mentally prepared for the road ahead.

Driving long hours without getting enough rest can lead to extreme fatigue. This can have the same effects as driving while intoxicated because it impairs the trucker’s performance.

Why Driver Fatigue Causes Trucking Accidents

Truck drivers that fail to obey the rules and regulations of the FMCSA create dangerous circumstances on the roads. Whether by their own lack of judgment or out of fear of losing their jobs, driving while fatigued is an extremely negligent thing to do behind the wheel of a truck. 

Fatigue affects the way any driver perceives a situation on the road. It has similar effects on the brain as being intoxicated. This means that a drowsy truck driver has a lower concentration level. They also have less ability to focus on the road or take notice of any changing conditions either on the roads themselves or due to weather.

Furthermore, an exhausted truck driver can fall asleep at the wheel. When a large truck is out of control, the results are most likely to be catastrophic. Truckers may become overly exhausted from a lack of proper rest, enduring road delays, having an unhealthy lifestyle, and by not caring for their mental health.

Other factors that can lead to truck accidents involve a lack of training or experience, foul weather, distracted driving, or driving under the influence. However, when a truck driver causes an accident, an investigation will determine the reason for the crash. If the truck driver was negligent, they will be held liable for the accident. 

Was Truck Driver Fatigue a Factor in Your Truck Crash?

Truck accidents are more frightening than other types of motor vehicle accidents because these vehicles weigh so much more than passenger cars. They have a far greater potential for destruction and could leave you with serious injuries that may have life-altering effects.

The days, weeks, and months following your truck accident will require you to focus on healing from your injuries. However, it is still important to have an investigation conducted to determine if the truck driver is the only liable party. It may also involve the trucking company or a third-party that loaded the cargo. 

Before you make a claim after a truck accident, it is wise to get legal advice and guidance from a personal injury attorney.

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