There’s no doubt about it. Truck drivers are among the most essential workers in the country. They supply local grocery stores and haul important building equipment to all parts of the country. In fact, in states such as Texas and Oklahoma, trucking is a huge part of their economy. However, trucks are also often the cause of some of the most severe road accidents, many of which are, unfortunately, caused by driver fatigue.
The data behind fatigue
Unfortunately, trucking companies and state governments are just now addressing the issue of driver fatigue. The major reason for this is due to the high number of accidents occurring because of it. In fact, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that driver fatigue is responsible for over 13% of truck accidents. However, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has stated that the number of motor vehicle accidents relating to truck driver fatigue is probably much higher than the figures that are being reported currently.
Signs of fatigue
Driving a 40-ton truck requires extreme awareness of one’s surroundings and good motor skills. All that tends to diminish when you are feeling fatigued behind the wheel. Some signs that you may be fatigued and that it’s time to get some rest include:
- Forgetting how much you’ve driven
- Being impatient
- Slow reactions
Why truck drivers suffer from fatigue
Unfortunately, one of the biggest reasons why truck drivers are driving tired is due to pressure from their companies. Supervisors may want their drivers to quickly drop off or pick up loads, and thus, taking a rest takes a back seat. Although there are laws to prevent this from occurring, the fact is that not all companies are implementing them into their operations.
The hazards of truck driver fatigue are clear, and unfortunately, many drivers will end up in an accident. Thus, it is important to consult with an attorney if you believe that fatigued driving was the main cause of the accident.