Trucker fatigue poses a serious hazard to everyone on the road. Victims of accidents caused by tired commercial drivers should learn all they can about trucker fatigue so they can use the information to obtain the compensation they may be entitled to.
Here are six important things people should know about trucker fatigue, auto accidents and legal help.
#1: Lack of sleep can cause fatigue
Lack of sleep is one of the most common causes of fatigue. Sleep debt often occurs when a trucker doesn’t get enough sleep over the course of multiple nights.
A trucker might suffer from fatigue if he or she decides to go out the night before a big run. The lack of sleep before that first night can lead to fatigue issues through the rest of the shift cycle.
#2: Driving conditions can lead to fatigue
Driving conditions might lead to fatigue. This can include driving on roads that are too familiar or driving when the cab of the truck is too hot and stuffy. Driving at night or in the rain can also lead to fatigue. Preventing these conditions might not be possible, but truckers should do all they can to avoid driving while fatigued.
#3: Medical conditions can contribute to fatigue
Medical conditions might contribute to fatigue. Sleep apnea and diabetes are two conditions that might cause a driver to feel tired behind the wheel. Being obese, overweight or inactive might also contribute to fatigue. Truckers who don’t eat a healthy diet and who lead a sedentary life might also feel fatigue more than other truckers.
#4: Trucking company policies can exacerbate fatigue
Trucking company policies can worsen driver fatigue because truckers might feel pressure to keep driving when they know they should stop to rest. With tight deadlines in place, drivers may rush to get items to delivery points, but they must have a way to rest when necessary.
#5: Federal regulations aim to reduce fatigue
The federal government has regulations on the books to help prevent trucker fatigue. The Hours of Service regulations put limits on how long truckers can drive and how long they can work in a shift that involves driving and doing other duties. Cargo truckers can drive up to 11 hours per shift without other duties. Passenger carriers can drive up to 10 hours per shift without any other duties.
#6: Fatigued trucking accidents can lead to negligence claims
Fatigued trucking accidents can lead to negligence/compensation claims. An attorney has to determine which parties to hold liable. This can include the trucker, the insurance company, the trucking company or any other party that had a part in causing the fatigue.
Talk to an attorney after an accident
After a motor vehicle accident involving a truck, it may be important to obtain the advice of an attorney before speaking with the trucker’s insurance company. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses.