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Truck driver fatigue, its causes and consequences

| Oct 21, 2020 | Auto accidents |

Drowsy driving may not be seen as much of a danger compared to DUI, but it nevertheless increases the risk for serious injuries and even death. Tennessee residents should know that truck drivers are particularly prone to it.

Factors in truck driver fatigue

Truckers, feeling pressured to meet deadlines and knowing that they are paid by the mile, not by the hour, may drive on in spite of their fatigue. Under federal law, truckers can only drive 11 consecutive hours; after that, they must spend 10 consecutive hours away from the wheel. Many break this law.

Other conditions may lead to drowsiness, such as illnesses. Even the common cold can do it. Truckers may also be taking drowsiness-inducing medications. If they drive during those hours when they are normally asleep, their body may not adjust accordingly. Another factor is alcohol, which half of truckers around the world admit to consuming. Alcohol combined with drugs will naturally make one sleepy.

The effects of trucker fatigue

Fatigue is known to slow down one’s reflexes. This can be fatal to a driver, who should be able to react quickly to dangers. It also impairs one’s attention, preventing one from noticing changes in speed limits or traffic lights. Fatigued drivers may also misjudge another vehicle’s speed or a gap in traffic.

Hiring a lawyer to file a claim

Of all motor vehicle accidents, truck crashes can result in some of the worst injuries for passenger vehicle occupants. Perhaps you suffered at the hands of a drowsy trucker; you may file a claim against the trucking company or, if the trucker is an owner-operator, the insurance company. With a lawyer, you may find that the process becomes easier. He or she may negotiate for a settlement covering all your medical expenses, lost wages and other applicable losses.