Fatigued driving is extremely dangerous. If a truck driver falls asleep behind the wheel of a large commercial truck at highway speeds, he could cause a devastating accident that involves multiple passenger vehicles and severely injures several of the occupants of those vehicles. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the federal agency that regulates the trucking industry, recognizes the dangers of fatigued driving and has numerous hours of service regulations to try to prevent accidents caused by fatigued driving. However, not all drivers follow the laws and some continue to push themselves too far and drive for too long. Furthermore, even if drivers follow the laws, they may still get tired even if they are within the confines of the law. If a fatigued truck driver causes you injury, you should immediately contact a Gwinnett County truck accident attorney to help you recover for your injuries.
Though the FMCSA has instituted even stricter hours of service rules as of July 1, 2013, long hours on the road is not the only factor that causes driver fatigue. There are numerous causes for truck driver fatigue, which include:
- Driving through the night
- Irregular sleep schedules
- Unrealistic delivery schedules
- Trying to sleep in the truck at busy and noisy truck stops
- Stress, depression, and isolation
- Monotonous and repetitive highway driving
- Unhealthy eating habits
- Health problems
- Driving for hours in heavy traffic or hazardous weather conditions
Because all of these things may also contribute to fatigue and loss of focus, hours of service regulations are not enough to completely prevent accidents that result from fatigued driving. Instead, truck drivers need to have a realistic outlook on scheduling, have self-awareness, and know when to take breaks if they are losing concentration or getting sleepy.
If you are in an accident, proving the driver was negligently fatigued may be complicated, especially if he has not blatantly violated hours of service rules. Therefore, it is very important to have an experienced truck accident lawyer who knows how to prove negligence in fatigued truck drivers. Call the Law Offices of Shane Smith at (770) 487-8999 today for help.