Most people have probably climbed behind the wheel when they’re tired. But being a bit worn out and being fatigued or unable to keep your eyes open is a different story. Those who fall asleep behind the wheel can travel hundreds of yard without seeing the road, veer into oncoming traffic, and blow past stop signs and traffic signals. When these sorts of incidents involve semi-trucks, then the devastation and harm caused can be catastrophic.
What causes drowsy truck driving?
There isn’t one cause of this issue. In fact, any of the following may be a contributing factor to drowsy trucking:
- Hours of service violations: Truckers are often on tight schedules, and their pay is usually tied, at least to some extent, to the miles that they drive. As a result, truckers sometimes skirt federal regulations on the number of hours they can drive, which can result in tired and fatigued drivers operating these rigs.
- Medical conditions: The trucking industry is lax when it comes to addressing medical conditions that impact safe driving. For example, some truckers suffer from sleep apnea, a medical condition that causes a person to stop breathing during sleep. This results in up to hundreds of sleep disruptions a night, leaving an individual vulnerable to falling asleep behind the wheel.
- Night driving: Some truckers drive overnight either out of necessity or to avoid traffic. But driving in the dark can lead to drowsiness and unsafe driving practices.
- Poor sleeping conditions: Long-haul trucker sometimes have to live out of their trucks, which can be uncomfortable. These poor sleeping arrangements can lead to sleep deprivation which, in turn, can put a dangerous driver behind the wheel.
What can you do if you’ve been hurt in a truck accident?
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by a trucker, fatigued or not, you need to analyze the facts of your case to see if legal action is warranted. After all, succeeding on a truck accident personal injury claim may be the only way for you to recover the compensation you need to offset your losses and spur your recovery forward.
So, if you’re ready to act on the wrong that’s been caused to you, then now is the time to learn about your next steps.