The Danger’s of Trucker Fatigue
If you have ever driven late into the night, you may know what it feels like to be fatigued at the wheel. Now, imagine that you drive for a living: truck drivers spent 40+ hours a week on the road, driving hundreds of miles delivering goods across our country. They are specially licensed for this task, and have a great level of experience to operate 18-wheelers and semi-trucks.
However, truck drivers can get tired while driving just like people who are operating passenger vehicles. Unfortunately, if a truck driver falls asleep at the wheel there is a significant possibility of serious damage because of the size of their vehicle. This is why there are federal restrictions to the consecutive hours and the hours in a week that a driver can operate their vehicle, but even these restrictions can not guarantee safety for the driver and all surrounding vehicles.
Read more below about the dangers of fatigued driving, and contact us immediately if you have been involved in a truck accident with a commercial truck. You will quickly find that the process of dealing with a commercial insurance company is extremely complicated, and we will be happy to assist you through these steps, as well as to pursue a lawsuit if our negotiations fail.
What Is Driving Fatigue?
Driving fatigue, as the name suggests, is the act of driving while you are overtired. It has been proven in many studies that driving while fatigued is extremely dangerous — it slows reflexes, affects decision-making abilities, and reduces attention significantly. Driving fatigue can come from lack of sleep, but it can also come from medical conditions, medication reactions, or possible drug and/or alcohol effects.
When a person is fatigued, they can find themselves blinking a lot, or having a hard time keeping their eyes open. While they are focusing on keeping their eyes open, they may lose their ability to pay attention to the rest of what is going on around them, and may accidentally shift lanes, not notice someone merging in front of them, or accidentally drive off the road.
In addition to the issues that fatigue causes for the awake and struggling driver, there is a very real risk of falling asleep at the wheel. When a driver falls asleep at the wheel, they have completely lost the ability to safely operate their vehicle and puts everyone around them, as well as themselves, at serious risk of injury, or even death.
Causes of Driving Fatigue
There are any number of ways that a driver can be tired behind the wheel, but here are some common ones that we look for when building a personal injury lawsuit:
Commercial drivers are required to keep a log of their travels, which is used to determine if they were staying within the legal operating guidelines set forth by the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration. This is one of the first things that we will look at when determining the factors that led to your accident.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Unfortunately, driving while intoxicated is just as much of a problem for commercial drivers as it is for private operators. If you suspect that the driver is intoxicated following an accident, contact the police and be sure that they are aware of your concerns.
If a driver is taking medication that makes them drowsy, or affects their ability to sleep during their off-house, they may be putting themselves and others at risk. We will explore the possibility of adverse medication reactions while we are looking for the causes of your accidents.
Untreated Medical Issues
There is a wide range of medical issues that either causes drowsiness or hinder sleep, and any of these could lead to a driver who is falling asleep at the wheel. We will explore all the possibilities while we are working on your case, because it is our top priority to ensure that you are properly compensated.
Contact Us Today
If you have been injured in an accident with a commercial truck driver and suspect that fatigue played a role, contact us today to discuss how we will consider these factors while building a case for you. We will handle the direct negotiations with the commercial insurance company, as well as determine how we will handle your situation in court if we are required to file a full lawsuit.
Your first consultation with us is free, and is an excellent way to understand how we will work together if you choose to take us on as your legal representation.