The Dangers Of Fatigued Truck Drivers
Fatigued or drowsy driving is a prevalent issue among drivers since reports indicate that 60 percent of adult drivers have driven drowsy and 37 percent have fallen asleep while behind the wheel.1 As a result of this type of driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that there is consequently over 100,000 crashes with a coinciding 1,500 fatalities and 70,000 injuries.2 The problem and dangers of fatigued driving effects both automobile and truck drivers.
Drowsy Driving Dangers
Sleepiness in a driver causes several decreased functions and skills. Some of the most common issues include slowed reaction time, minimized awareness, impaired judgment, and overall lack of ability to maintain the focus and attention needed to avoid a crash.3 Other symptoms of driving sleepy, tired, drowsy, or exhausted include problems with information processing, short term memory issues, decreased performance, vigilance, and motivation, and an increase in moodiness and aggressive behaviors.4 Each of these symptoms of drowsy driving increases the risk of an accident, because the driver is more likely to drift into lanes, misjudge distances, and respond inappropriately to environmental risks.
Why are Truck Drivers Likely to Drive Fatigued?
Two main causes of driver fatigue include a lack of quality or quantity of sleep and driving at times of the day when a person would normally be sleeping.5 The nature of the trucking industry makes truck drivers more likely to fall prey to these main causes of driver fatigue. Commercial truck drivers travels long distances which reduces the level of physical and mental activity, this in turn makes it difficult to maintain alertness and vigilance; despite hours of service regulations, drivers tend to be awake for long periods of time increasing sleepiness; there is a diminished quality of sleep since resting occurs in constantly changing atmospheres such as inside a truck, rest stops, or hotels; and driving occurs contrary to the natural rhythm of a drivers body since most travel occurs regardless of the time of day; and statistically fatigued commercial drivers are more likely to be under the influence of caffeine drugs or stimulants that may keep a driver awake, but still effects cognitive processing.6
Contact an Experienced St. Louis Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you have been involved in an accident with a fatigued truck driver, it is important to discuss the circumstances of your injury with an experienced auto accident attorney who can help to protect your legal rights and interests. To contact a personal injury attorney for a free consultation please feel free to call the The Bruning Law Firm trial attorneys at 314-735-8100.