Recent data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that truck drivers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States. In 2018, there were more fatal work-accidents among truck drivers compared with all other industries. Heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers had 831 fatalities in a single year alone. So, what makes driving a truck so dangerous? In many truck accidents, driver fatigue is to blame.
Truck Driver Fatigue
The very nature of the job, long traveling hours with little sleep, makes this occupation especially dangerous. Drowsy truck drivers are not just a danger to themselves, they also pose a serious risk to surrounding drivers and pedestrians. The sheer weight and force of a tractor trailer increases the odds of a serious catastrophic injury to those in its track. Driver fatigue adds another dangerous factor to an already unsafe job.
Fatigue is a serious concern when it comes to truck drivers. An appropriate amount of sleep is essential before entering any vehicle, and truck drivers often do not get the proper amount of sleep required to adequately function. Drivers often receive incentives to deliver goods on time or ahead of schedule, making them less likely to take crucial rest breaks. This allows them to be more susceptible to extreme fatigue. Fatigue can also be the result of illegal drugs, especially when drivers use them to stay awake on the road. There is also a current driver shortage that is taking a toll on existing drivers, requiring them to work more and rest less.
How Fatigue Impairs Driving
Driving while tired may seem harmless, but fatigue can impact a trucker’s ability to safely operate their rig in a multitude of ways. Fatigue impairs decision making, coordination, and reaction time of the truck driver. Of course, there is always the risk the driver will fall asleep behind the wheel and lose control of the vehicle. A few second of your eyes off the road can lead to a severe accident. It is important for all drivers to have complete focus on the road while operating a vehicle.
Preventing Truck Driver Fatigue
Driving any type of vehicle while drowsy is a deadly choice. For that reason, truck owners and operators need to know the first signs of fatigue. A trucker needs to rest if they cannot focus, miss turns, repeatedly yawn, or they are unable to keep their eyes open. Rest breaks are required by law, so it is essential that drivers have an appropriate amount of sleep.
Virginia Beach Truck Accident Lawyers at East Coast Trial Lawyers Fight for Victims Injured in Truck Accidents
If you were injured in a truck accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Large trucks can be a hazard to all drivers on the road. Drivers with extreme fatigue are especially dangerous and can cause serious accidents. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, our compassionate team of Virginia Beach truck accident lawyers will fight for you to obtain the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 757-352-2237 for a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, we also represent clients in Chesapeake, Eastern Shores, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.