Trucks weigh anywhere between 7000 – 26000 pounds and then carry loads on top of this. Given the sheer size and weight, there’s no wonder that truck accidents can be so devastating, often resulting in serious injuries or death. There are many causes of truck drivers including driving under the influence, improper loading, and poor maintenance. However, throughout this article, we’re going to focus on the risks of drowsy driving.
Causes of Drowsy Truck Driving?
Logistics companies and truck drivers are responsible for avoiding fatigue, but that doesn’t stop it from happening. One of the most common causes of drowsy driving in truck drivers is being overworked. After a long time behind the wheel, vehicle control can become repetitive and tedious. Additionally, many drivers feel under pressure to complete deliveries on time. However, without rest breaks, truck drivers are likely to cause car accidents.
As well as being overworked, truck drivers often have inconsistent schedules, which means they can never get into a regular sleep pattern. Unfortunately, this can have deadly consequences on the road, especially if a driver has been struggling to sleep.
To deal with stress and issues with sleep, many truck drivers use over-the-counter stimulants or sleeping medications. Even though these medications may help to begin with, they have the potential to impair judgment and reaction times, which lead to crashes.
Who Is Liable for Accidents Caused by Truck Driver Fatigue?
If you’ve been involved in a truck accident caused by driver fatigue, you’re most likely thinking about hiring a truck accident lawyer and claiming compensation. This is the right course of action, but how do you determine liability when there are so many parties involved?
You can look at employer regulations and processes, but truck drivers are ultimately responsible for continuing to operate a vehicle when they’re feeling fatigued. Therefore, if any of the truck driver’s actions caused the accident, they will hold some of the liability.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) imposes regulations on logistics companies for how long drivers can safely operate a vehicle without a break. However, this doesn’t stop some companies from breaching the rules and putting additional pressure on drivers. If a company is found to be in breach of FMCSA regulations, it will hold liability.
If suspected driver fatigue is disproved, then liability may fall on the truck manufacturer. For example, if the vehicle is defective beyond reasonable maintenance, they will hold some of the liability.
How Regular Drivers Can Avoid Truck Driver Fatigue
Although there’s no guarantee of avoiding the devastating consequences of truck driver fatigue, regular drivers can reduce their risks of being involved in truck accidents by following these best practices:
- Never cut in front of a truck when overtaking
- Don’t tailgate
- Avoid a truck’s blind spot
- Pass quickly and avoid
- Avoid erratic behavior
Truck accidents, whether caused by driver fatigue or not, change your lives forever. Both logistics companies and drivers should take every measure to eliminate instances of drowsy driving.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, then get in touch with Pencheff & Fraley today at the following office addresses:
- Westerville – 4151 Executive Pkwy, Suite 355, Westerville, OH 43081
- Mansfield – 33 S. Lexington-Springmill Rd, Mansfield, OH 44906
Call now for a free consultation on (614) 224-4114.