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HomeBlogAuto AccidentsThe Dangers of Driver Fatigue in Commercial Trucking

The Dangers of Driver Fatigue in Commercial Trucking

Driving for long hours and across large distances can be exhausting. When drivers get tired, more accidents may occur. Driving when tired has recently been compared to driving while intoxicated, so the dangers of exhaustion are clear. More mistakes and delayed reaction times are increasingly apparent when driver fatigue rises. This is especially significant for commercial truck drivers. Driver fatigue in commercial trucking is on the rise, and it may lead to increased collisions. 

Driver Fatigue is a Common Problem

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated one in 25 people have fallen asleep on the road while driving. Further, this causes over 70,000 accidents and 40,000 injuries per year. Sleep deprivation and driver fatigue can clearly result in collisions. However, how does this apply to commercial trucking?

Commercial drivers work long hours. While some people may believe that a truck driver is more used to these hours and conditions, they are still humans and get fatigued. Unfortunately, unlike a regular motor vehicle, commercial trucks are large and can lead to more damage than a smaller car can. These heavier vehicles can cause injuries to the driver themselves as well as many other drivers on the road when an accident occurs. In short, it’s important to recognize that distracted and fatigued drivers of commercial trucks can result in significant damages and injury.

What Causes Truck Driver Fatigue?

There are many key causes of driver fatigue, but some are more apparent than others. These often include difficult conditions and poor management practices. Specifically, a major cause of truck driver fatigue is the long hours associated with the position. Truckers are legally allowed to drive for up to 11 hours at a time on 14-hour shifts, with the other three hours consisting of general vehicle maintenance, loading and unloading, and a 30-minute break. Further, only a 10-hour rest period between shifts is mandatory, meaning that drivers may continue their trip for days at a time with little recovery. These hours are sure to add up and lead to sleep deprivation, thus potentially resulting in collisions. 

Another cause of driver fatigue in the trucking industry is employer negligence. In these instances, on top of the pressure that companies put on truckers to work long hours, they may not train truck drivers appropriately. This includes training them to ignore the truck driving regulations. This, in turn, results in longer shifts and unsafe conditions for truckers. If there is evidence of company negligence, they may be held responsible for their negligence. 

Hire a Truck Accident Attorney

If you’ve been a victim of a truck accident and sustained damages after a truck driver was fatigued at the wheel, you may be eligible for compensation. To identify whether you have a case at hand, it could help to work with an experienced accident attorney like those at The Horwitz Law Group. They can walk through the details of your case and identify possible next steps to take. To schedule a consultation with The Horwitz Law Group and discuss how we can best help you, contact us today.



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