One would think that truck drivers who pass through Texas would know better than to drive while drowsy. After all, a tired driver behind the wheel of a large, heavy truck is a potentially deadly combination.
Unfortunately, despite the fact that the federal government has rules in place that require many truckers to pull over at set intervals and take an extended break, many drivers of big rigs still drive while drowsy.
One disturbing statistic to prove this point is that, of all trucking accidents, more than 1 out of 10, 13 percent, involved a driver which experts determined was fatigued. While not all of these truck accidents involve serious injuries, many no doubt do.
There are many reasons drivers are drowsy
Although there are unfortunately too many truckers out on the roads who are either ignoring or trying to get around the rest rules, simple lack of sleep is only one reason why truckers may be too tired to drive.
Some drivers may have a physical or mental health condition that make them unusually tired. On a related point, drivers who have been under stress or working long hours at difficult jobs can make even an otherwise well-rested driver fatigued.
Others may have sleep apnea or be dealing with another medical issue which makes it hard to get quality sleep.
Sometimes, the quality of one’s sleep gets negatively affected because of one’s eating patterns, on account of too much caffeine and even on account of a bad environment for sleeping, like a loud or bright location.
Many times, drivers may be taking even common over-the-counter medications which can make them feel tired.
Drowsy truck driving is always dangerous
No matter the reason, though, a fatigued truck driver is a risky driver. One study has even suggested, for instance, that a trucker operating for 18 hours straight drives like a person who is legally drunk, that is, with blood alcohol content of .08.
Drowsy driving is so dangerous that all truck drivers have an obligation to avoid it. Likewise, trucking companies must take steps to prevent it, even if this means sacrificing some profits.
Unfortunately, many truckers and their companies continue to ignore the dangers of fatigued driving, and so accidents continue to happen and people continue to get hurt.
Residents of San Antonio and the other parts of Texas who have been hurt because of a fatigued commercial driver may have legal options to pursue compensation.