If a truck driver falls asleep at the wheel, you now have an 80,000-pound vehicle that is completely out of control. That puts everyone at risk in a heartbeat; even just nodding off for a second can be enough to cause a deadly accident. For that matter, even a tired driver can cause a serious crash without completely falling asleep at all.
Unfortunately, truck driver fatigue is very common. If you have ever felt tired sitting at your desk at work, you know how this feels. Just imagine that your desk is a semi barreling down the road -- with that constant hum and motion to lull you to sleep. It's a dangerous combination.
But it is more than just the road noise that makes truckers a risk. Other factors include:
- Truck drivers cannot always predict their schedules, so they never get a set sleep schedule, and it can lead to chronic fatigue. They may also feel tired if they wind up having to work sooner than expected before they have gotten enough sleep.
- Truck drivers often do not have standard hours between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. They have to drive in the middle of the night or stay up late into the evening.
- Truck drivers have to put in long hours. While there are regulations to make sure they take enough breaks, not all of them follow the regulations -- and nothing forces them to sleep even when they're on a break.
If you get injured in an 18-wheeler accident, you must know how to seek compensation for your medical bills and other costs.