The majority of people know that they shouldn’t drink and drive, but most people don’t realize that driving drowsy is just as dangerous as drunk driving. This is especially true for truck drivers, as large commercial trucks can cause serious injuries or fatalities when a drowsy-driving-related crash occurs.
It is known that shift workers and people who work long hours are at risk of being in sleep-related accidents. Truck drivers are included in this group, as many of them travel the roads between the hours of midnight and 6:00 a.m. (a time period that the human body naturally feels sleepy).
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), commercial drivers and long-haul drivers are greatly at risk for being involved in fatigue-related crashes. In fact, statistics indicate that approximately 15% of nationwide truck wrecks involve fatigue.
Unfortunately, truckers battle fatigue due to the challenges they face driving long hours behind the wheel and their irregular sleep schedules. If truck drivers don’t get caught up on their sleep, sleep deprivation can occur. According to researchers, sleep deprivation is one of the main roadway hazards for those in the transportation industry. However, here are some other causes of driver fatigue:
- Sleep loss
- Fragmented sleep caused by interruptions
- Sleep disorders
- Use of sedating medications
- Drinking alcohol when drowsy
- Amount of time spent on a task
- Work schedule patterns
Truck Drivers Battle Drowsy Driving
If a driver of a passenger car is sleepy and gets behind the wheel of a car, it can be dangerous; however, if a truck driver gets tired on the drive and falls asleep at the wheel, it can cause serious and even fatal injuries. This is because a truck weighs more and would have probably been traveling at full speed without the trucker waking up trying to avoid the crash by braking or steering out of the way. This is what makes a wreck even more severe – the inability to try and avoid the crash.
Although the new hours-of-service requirements help to keep truckers from driving too long, most truckers still drive for long periods at a time, even at night. Just by doing their job, they are at risk for drowsy driving crashes while putting innocent motorists at risk for a Georgia trucking accident.
If you or someone you love was injured by a truck driver driving under the influence of fatigue, you need to talk with a skilled Atlanta truck accident lawyer today at the Law Offices of Shane Smith at 770-HURT-999 to find out more about your rights in a free consultation today.