Studies have shown that drowsiness can have similar effects on drivers as intoxication. However, many people who would never get behind the wheel after drinking may regularly drive when they are fatigued, often without realizing how impaired their abilities may be. This is especially dangerous for commercial truck drivers, who can be prone to fatigue after long hours on the highway. In addition, a fatigued truck driver has an 80,000 vehicle in their control and can cause devastating crashes if they lose focus or fall asleep at the wheel. The following are some of the common causes of truck driver fatigue.
Hours of Service Violations
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) limits the number of hours that commercial drivers can work in an attempt to prevent fatigued driving accidents. However, some drivers violate these regulations in order to increase their deliveries and income and make it home faster. While such drivers can falsify their record books now, the good news is that the FMCSA will soon be requiring electronic logging devices on trucks to prevent such violations.
Like anyone else, truck drivers may take medications that can cause fatigue as a side effect. Truck drivers should always avoid taking such medications before or during a driving shift and should carefully review the side effects of any prescription or over-the-counter medicines that they plan to take.
Certain health conditions – such as sleep apnea – can cause severe fatigue if not properly diagnosed or treated. In fact, the FMCSA has warned truck drivers of the specific risks of driving with untreated sleep apnea. Truck drivers should always be properly screened for health risks and should treat any problems that may compromise their ability to safely drive a truck.
Contact a Gainesville Truck Accident Lawyer to Discuss Your Case for Free Today
Fatigued truck accidents happen on a regular basis and can result in devastating injuries to others. If you have been injured, call an experienced truck accident attorney at Meldon Law in Gainesville at (352) 373-8000 for help.