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How Can Driver Fatigue Lead to Truck Wrecks and Serious Injuries?

Posted on April 17, 2023 in Truck Accidents

Katy Commercial Trucking Accident LawyerTrucking is an essential industry in the United States. Truck drivers and trucking companies are responsible for transporting numerous types of goods and materials throughout the country. However, the requirement to deliver goods as quickly as possible creates some risks, especially when truck drivers are required to travel long distances and remain on the roads for extended periods of time.

Long hours of driving, irregular schedules, driving at night, and other issues related to operating large commercial vehicles can take a toll on even the most experienced truck drivers. Many truckers experience driver fatigue, which can lead to dangerous truck accidents that result in injuries to others. People who have been injured in truck wrecks will need to understand who was responsible and how they can pursue compensation for the damages they have suffered.

Common Causes of Truck Driver Fatigue

When truck drivers experience fatigue after long shifts behind the wheel, they may struggle to maintain control of their vehicles, and they will be more likely to be involved in accidents. Staying awake for long periods of time can have similar effects as alcohol intoxication, and a tired truck driver may experience delayed reaction times, or they may be unable to fully pay attention to what is happening on the road around them. If a truck driver becomes drowsy, they may fall asleep while behind the wheel. Even closing their eyes or nodding off for a few seconds can cause a truck driver to lose control or collide with other vehicles.

There are numerous reasons why truck drivers may become fatigued, including:

  • Hours of service violations - Federal regulations impose limits on the number of hours that drivers can operate commercial vehicles. In addition to daily and weekly limits on driving, regular breaks are required, including time spent sleeping. When these rules are violated, and when truckers drive for too long without taking enough time to rest, they will become more likely to experience fatigue.

  • Inadequate sleep - Truckers often have difficulty getting enough sleep due to irregular schedules and difficult working conditions. Even if they spend the required amount of time in a sleeper berth, this is no guarantee that they will get quality sleep and be rested enough to be able to operate their vehicles safely. In some cases, sleep disorders such as sleep apnea can affect a driver's quality of sleep, causing them to become tired or drowsy while driving.

  • Driving at night - When a truck driver is on the road after dark, they will experience reduced visibility, and they will need to be able to pay close attention to the road to ensure that they can drive safely. However, the lack of light can also lead to drowsiness, especially if a person has already been driving for several hours or has not maintained a consistent schedule.

  • Substance use - Many truck drivers will use caffeine, energy drinks, or other substances in an effort to stay awake while driving. These substances can lead to further fatigue after they begin to wear off, especially if the driver has not gotten enough rest or sleep. Some truckers may resort to using illegal drugs such as amphetamines in order to stay awake, but these drugs can have a negative impact on their ability to drive safely. Drivers may also be affected by medications they take, such as painkillers or cold medicines that can cause drowsiness.

Contact Our Katy Truck Accident Lawyer for Driver Fatigue

Truck driver fatigue is a serious problem that can have devastating consequences. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident caused by a fatigued trucker, contact our experienced Fort Bend County truck wreck attorney today. At The Hatton Law Firm PLLC, we are committed to helping those who have suffered injuries due to driver fatigue or other forms of negligence by truck drivers and trucking companies. We will work diligently on your behalf to ensure that justice is served. Contact us at 713-840-6344 to set up a free consultation.



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