Due to their significant size and weight, large trucks can cause significant damage when they collide with smaller vehicles. Texas drivers who have suffered harm because of a crash involving a semi-truck could be victims of one of the most common dangers involving truck drivers: fatigue.
Fatigued driving is a serious problem in the trucking industry. While there are federal regulations specify how many hours a trucker can drive consecutively, men and women still get behind the wheel of large trucks while dangerously tired. Tired drivers are dangerous drivers, especially when they are in control of large, heavy vehicles.
What factors determine how tired is too tired?
While the number of hours that a person has been awake can certainly affect how tired he or she is, fatigue can also result from being awake at unusual times. Due to the nature of this type of job, truckers are often on the road at odd hours, even driving through the night. Fatigue and exhaustion can also result from the following:
- Lack of adequate sleep
- Strenuous work activities
- Working long hours
- Stressful non-work issues
- Combination of other factors
When job requirements disrupt a driver’s normal sleep rhythm on a regular basis, it can lead to fatigue, affecting the way that a driver thinks, performs and makes decisions while behind the wheel. Ultimately, it can lead to collisions that harm innocent individuals.
Another theory suggests that truck driver fatigue may also relate to some extent to sleep inertia. This can happen when a trucker is sleeping at odd hours, sleeping in the truck berth, or driving immediately after waking up. Sleep inertia can have a direct effect on job performance, clarity of mind, vigilance, cognitive functioning, and reaction time.
Exhaustion and trucks: a deadly combination
Truck drivers who are exhausted or overly fatigued are a danger to every person on the road, including themselves. There are many things that drivers can do to prevent fatigue, and employers also bear the responsibility of ensuring the enforcement of safety regulations. Additionally, drivers must be willing to acknowledge when they are currently in a state in which they are unable to drive safely.
If you believe that your truck accident was the result of a fatigued trucker or other negligent or reckless actions, you should talk with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney. When you have the support of a skilled legal advocate, you can more effectively fight to get the compensation you deserve.