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How serious is truck driver fatigue?

On Behalf of | Dec 30, 2020 | 18-Wheeler Accidents |

Every day in Louisiana, hundreds of truck drivers navigate busy roadways to deliver goods. Although truckers provide essential services that millions of Americans rely on, even a minor accident with a tractor-trailer can cause serious injury or death.

The dangers of truck driver fatigue

Driver fatigue is one of the leading causes of serious truck-related accidents. Drivers who are trying to make tight deadlines by commuting long hours often experience fatigued or drowsy driving. Since fatigue can impact the brain in ways that interfere with safe driving, truck drivers can easily put others at risk. Even minor fatigue can lead to impaired judgment and reduced reaction times.

What causes truck driver fatigue?

Fatigue is commonly behind commercial truck accidents, so truckers need to be vigilant about preventing drowsy driving. The nature of the truck driving profession can lead to fatigue in a number of ways, including:

  • Long hours: Spending long hours on the road can take a toll on a driver both mentally and physically.
  • Fluctuating sleep schedules: Drivers who have to sleep during the day in order to commute overnight can experience increased drowsiness.
  • Work pressures: Trucking companies that push their employees to meet strict deadlines could encourage them to continue driving even if they feel drowsiness.
  • Health issues: Medical problems like sleep apnea and difficulty breathing can contribute to increased drowsiness.

Are there federal regulations truck drivers must adhere to?

Commercial truck drivers must follow certain federal regulations. They’re permitted to drive 11 hours per day only after they’ve taken 10 hours off. Drivers are not allowed to commute more than 14 hours at a time. Unfortunately, truck drivers often neglect these federal regulations due to pressure from their employers to meet tight deadlines.

If you’ve been injured in a truck accident, the time to act is now. You may want to consider consulting with your attorney about your legal options for compensation as soon as possible.