Truck drivers are at high risk for fatigue while on the road. Truck drivers often work long hours and don’t get enough sleep, which can lead to dangerous driving conditions. There have been many accidents caused by truck driver fatigue, and it’s important to be aware of the risks involved when driving a large truck. Here are some of the dangers of fatigue while driving a truck.
Truck driver fatigue is a serious problem on the road
Fatigue can lead to a number of problems for a driver, including slower reaction time and difficulty staying in a lane. If a truck driver is fatigued, they may have trouble keeping the truck under control, which puts the lives of everyone on the road in danger. A major cause of sleepiness in drivers is sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation can severely impact your ability to drive safely, making you more likely to fall asleep at the wheel, have slower reaction times and take longer to return from being drowsy. This can result in a loss of control over your vehicle. Some of the most common issues caused by fatigue include:
- Struggling to stay in a lane or on the road
- Not noticing other vehicles on the road
- Not noticing traffic signs and signals
- Driving too quickly, causing accidents
How truck accidents affect the public
Accidents involving large trucks can be severe, and it’s important to keep the people on the road safe. Accidents caused by fatigue can lead to:
- Serious injuries or death
- Traffic delays and congestion
- Serious damage to the vehicles involved in the accident
Most of the time, truck accidents are caused by driver negligence, which can include things like speeding, ignoring traffic signs, and driving while fatigued. Many of these accidents can be avoided if truck drivers take the necessary precautions to stay awake and make it to their destination safely.
The law on truck driver fatigue
The federal government has laws in place that limit how long a truck driver can be on the road. The law states that a truck driver cannot drive for more than 11 hours per day, and they must have at least 10 hours of rest between shifts. When a truck driver reaches their 11 hour driving time, they need to stop so they have enough time to sleep. The federal government also mandates that truck drivers stay off the road for at least 34 consecutive hours after they’ve worked 70 hours in a week.
Trucking employers’ role in imposing breaks between shifts
There are also laws that regulate how trucking companies should operate. These federal regulations don’t require truck drivers to take breaks — instead, the law states that employers must provide their drivers with time to rest after they’ve worked for 70 hours in a week. Employers must ensure that there is enough time between shifts so their drivers can get some sleep. Employers also need to provide their drivers with the following:
- Timely and accurate paperwork for truck drivers’ records
- A safe, healthy work environment that provides sanitary facilities
If a truck driver is not provided with these necessary means and encounters an accident, they can file a truck accident claim against their company with the help of a trucking attorney. These professionals should be able to ensure that the truck driver is compensated for their losses.
How truck drivers can avoid fatigue and get into accidents
If you’re a truck driver who is tired, then you need to take action. You can’t control when your company gives you days off, so try to stay well-rested before your next shift begins. If you start feeling tired while driving, it’s important to pull over and rest as soon as possible. Some steps that drivers can take to stay well-rested include:
- Not taking any medications that make you drowsy, including over-the-counter products or prescription drugs
- Exercising regularly so you have more energy during your shift
- Drinking enough water throughout your shifts
- Eating properly and on time
- Taking a quick nap just before work, if possible
- Getting eight hours of sleep each night — even when it’s not your workweek
Fatigue is a common issue for truck drivers, and it can often lead to dangerous accidents. The federal government has put laws in place that regulate how long truck drivers can be on the road, but many of these accidents are still caused by driver negligence. Trucking companies also have a responsibility to provide their drivers with adequate rest time between shifts. If you’re a truck driver, it’s important to take measures to avoid fatigue while driving. This includes drinking enough water and eating properly, as well as getting plenty of sleep before your next shift begins.