In Florida, the law requires commercial truck drivers to keep logs of their hours behind the wheel. This is done in an effort to prevent accidents caused by driver fatigue. Despite these regulations, truck driver fatigue continues to be a leading factor in accidents involving big rigs. Take a closer look at how truck driver fatigue contributes to accidents and what can be done to prevent them.
Driver fatigue: the facts
Fatigue is a state of physical and mental exhaustion that results from lack of sleep or extended periods of work or stress. It can cause drivers to feel drowsy behind the wheel and make it difficult to focus on the road. In some cases, it can even lead to microsleeps, which are brief episodes of sleep that last for just a few seconds but can be deadly if they occur while driving. Common factors that contribute to fatigue include:
· Lack of sleep
· Extended periods of work or stress
· Medications that cause drowsiness
· Alcohol consumption
Accidents caused by truck driver fatigue
If you’re injured in a big rig accident, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver and their trucking company. Your task will be to prove that the driver got behind the wheel while fatigued. Checking their hours-of-service logs can help you show whether they were taking the legally mandated rests before getting behind the wheel.
Investigations can also unveil if the truck driver was speeding or using drugs to stay alert. If you win the case, you may be able to get compensation for your medical bills, lost wages while receiving treatment, and damages to your car and property.
In order to keep the roads safe, it is important for everyone, including commercial truck drivers, to understand the dangers of driver fatigue and take steps to avoid it. Employers should provide their drivers with adequate rest breaks and ensure that they are not working long hours without getting enough sleep. Drivers should also be aware of their medications and how they can affect their ability to drive safely. It’s important to be cautious when driving around large trucks as these vehicles can pose a serious danger if driven by someone who is tired or stressed out.