There are many reasons for truck driver fatigue. In some cases, the drivers simply do not sleep all that well in their trucks, so they wake up tired before they even get on the road. In other cases, they have to work odd hours to take jobs, often breaking up their natural sleep cycle.
It’s all dangerous. A truck driver who falls asleep at the wheel can cause a devastating accident. Even a driver who is merely exhausted, but who has not yet actively fallen asleep, maybe have slow reactions and make avoidable mistakes.
One of the biggest reasons for fatigue is something drivers often can’t avoid, however: long hours behind the wheel. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s president noted in an interview that road trips and long drives can “very easily” lead to fatigue. He said that drivers may need to make alternate arrangements to stay safe.
That advice may be fine for a family on a road trip. They can plan shorter days with more stops. But truck drivers often do not have that luxury. They have to spend long days on the road, for years on end, and they often cannot stop if they get tired. They have schedules to keep. Stopping means missing a deadline, losing work and losing money. They push on even when they know that it is not exactly safe to do so.
If a tired truck driver causes an accident that puts you in the hospital, make sure you know exactly what legal rights you have to seek out financial compensation in Louisiana.