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What Are the Top Reasons That Driver Fatigue Leads to Truck Accidents?

 Posted on January 25, 2022 in Truck Accidents

Hyde Park truck accident lawyers18-wheeler trucks and other commercial vehicles are much larger and heavier than passenger vehicles. Because of this, truck accidents are likely to lead to serious injuries or wrongful death. While there are many reasons why these types of collisions may occur, driver fatigue is one of the most common problems that can affect safety on the road. Drivers, passengers, or others who are injured in collisions with commercial trucks will want to determine who was responsible, and with the help of an attorney, they can take action to recover financial compensation for their injuries.

Common Causes of Truck Driver Fatigue

Drowsiness and fatigue can be dangerous for any driver. If a person is drowsy, they will be much more likely to miss important details, and they may be unable to react in time to changing conditions on the road. If a person gets two fewer hours of sleep than normal, they will experience effects similar to drinking three alcoholic beverages, and going for 20 hours without sleep is generally considered equivalent to being legally intoxicated. Those who experience fatigue are three times more likely to become involved in a collision. For truck drivers who must remain in full control of a vehicle that weighs tens of thousands of pounds, drowsiness can be deadly.

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

  • Long hours behind the wheel - Commercial truck drivers are required to follow hours of service regulations that prevent them from staying on the road for longer than is safe. Truck drivers are generally restricted to driving no more than 11 hours in a single shift and either 60 hours in a seven-day period or 70 hours in an eight-day period. Drivers must also take a 30-minute break after driving for eight hours. While some drivers may violate these regulations, even those who follow the laws may become fatigued after remaining behind the wheel for multiple hours. Drowsiness is more likely to occur when driving at night or when a driver has an irregular schedule.
  • Drug use - Some truck drivers may struggle with drug or alcohol abuse, and the use of these substances may affect their ability to stay awake behind the wheel. Drivers may also become drowsy because of their use of legal substances, such as prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicines used to treat cold or flu symptoms.
  • Sleep disorders - Even if a driver gets the right amount of sleep, their quality of sleep may suffer. Truck drivers who have sleep apnea or similar conditions and do not receive the proper treatment may not be fully rested after sleeping, and they may struggle to stay awake and alert while driving. 
  • Ineffective alertness techniques - There are a variety of “tricks” that drivers often use to stay awake when drowsy, such as drinking coffee or other caffeinated beverages, driving with the windows rolled down, or playing music on the radio. However, these techniques do not stop a person from becoming drowsy, and they may provide a false sense of security that will cause a driver to believe they can drive safely when they are fatigued.

Contact Our Hyde Park Truck Accident Lawyer

Truck accidents can be devastating, and victims will want to determine how they can take legal action to hold a negligent truck driver and their employer responsible for their injuries and damages. In many cases, accidents involving driver fatigue occur because trucking companies encourage their drivers to violate hours of service regulations or remain on the road when they are not safe to drive. At Kadzai Law Group, LLC, we can investigate an accident to determine whether driver fatigue was a factor, and we can make sure this issue is addressed as you pursue compensation. To set up a free consultation, contact our Chicago commercial truck accident attorney today by calling 312-229-0050.






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