While most people are aware of the dangers drunken driving presents, some people, including many commercial truck drivers, are in denial about the dangers of drowsy driving. However, as many studies have found, when truckers drive sleepy, it impairs their ability to drive safely—similar to levels of having a BAC of .08.
Even a second of dozing off while driving an 80,000-pound semi-truck can spell disaster and lead to a deadly Atlanta truck crash. So, why are drowsy driving truck crashes still occurring when the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration set restrictions on a truck driver’s time at the wheel?
Three Reasons Why Truckers Still Fall Asleep at the Wheel
- Lack of Sleep. Many truck drivers suffer from sleep apnea, a sleeping disorder that has contributed to many truck wrecks. Additionally, truckers often suffer from fragmented sleep due to uncomfortable sleeping conditions. When truckers get less than six hours of sleep, day after day, they may suffer from sleep deprivation.
- Alcohol & Drug Use. When alcohol is consumed, it can affect a truck driver’s motor skills and cause a sedating effect. The combination of alcohol mixed with a sleepy trucker can create a crash. Also, medications can increase the risk of drowsy driving.
- Driving Schedule. When truck drivers work for long hours at a time or work irregular hours, they are at an increased risk of falling asleep while driving. Additionally, our bodies are programmed to sleep at night, so when truckers drive overnight, they are more likely to suffer from drowsiness.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, commercial truck drivers are more likely to cause a drowsy driving crash. If you were injured due to a fatigued driver, call Shane Smith Law at 770-HURT-999 for a complimentary case consultation with a skilled Atlanta injury lawyer today.