Driver fatigue causes truck accidents because the driver can have:
- Delayed reactions
- Poor judgment and visibility
- Lapses in concentration
If you or a loved one was hurt in a truck accident due to driver fatigue, you could recover compensation for the resulting damages, including past and projected medical bills, lost wages, property damage costs, and pain and suffering. A truck accident lawyer can help you with different aspects of your claim or lawsuit while you’re in treatment.
What is Driver Fatigue?
“Driver fatigue” refers to a situation where a person drives while drowsy or sleepy. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), it is one of the top 10 leading causes of truck accidents in the U.S. Driver fatigue makes it hard to notice and respond to situations on the road when you are tired.
At George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers, we know that many truck drivers drive without adequate sleep. As a result, truckers can end up in the wrong lane and not reposition back in time, run over a pedestrian due to slow reaction time, or fall asleep at the wheel.
Symptoms of Driver Fatigue That Lead to Truck Accidents
As mentioned, driver fatigue can lead to reduced attention to the road and slower reaction rates. These impairments can lead to a truck accident. Here are some symptoms truck drivers watch out for:
- Constantly yawning
- Feeling restless
- Concentration and memory problems
A driver who notices these symptoms should pull over to rest, get out of the car, and stretch. If drowsiness has already set in, truck drivers are encouraged to pull over and take a nap so they can feel refreshed and alert.
Truck drivers must get adequate sleep before and during each journey. Companies that deny their drivers rest by scheduling them for too many shifts or not allowing sufficient rest periods during trips violate this right.
5 Tips for Avoiding Truck Accidents Caused by Driver Fatigue
As injury lawyers, we believe that prevention is better than a cure. To potentially save a life, truck drivers should follow these simple rules:
1. Do Not Drive Under the Influence
One major cause of fatigue is driving under the influence. Most drugs and alcohol are depressants and tend to make drivers sleepy. Additionally, when the high fades, many drivers report feeling lethargic and having an extreme loss of energy.
So, before setting off on a trip, they should not drink at all.
2. Get Enough Sleep Before You Get On The Road
Truck drivers have the right and duty to ensure they get adequate sleep before every journey. With more extended trips, they are advised to take the needed stops to rest and recharge so they can stay awake and alert on the road.
3. Keep the Truck’s Environment Stimulating
Truck drivers should play their favorite songs at a reasonable volume, switch stations or playlists at stop signs, and avoid soft and soothing music. Ideally, they can play a podcast or a radio station that has lots of playful and fun conversation, as well as great music.
4. Take Breaks At Least Every Three Hours
We urge truck drivers to stop at a gas station, rest stop, or restaurant. They should use the time to get out, walk around, stretch or do a light workout. Staying in one cramped position for a long time can make them sleepy and cause a truck accident.
Also, they should try not to overeat, as it can make them drowsy. It’s important to focus on getting several small meals or light snacks to give just enough energy for the drive.
5. Stop Driving and Pull over
It’s crucial not to try to fight fatigue on the road. They must pull over and take a short nap instead of forcefully trying to stay awake. It is better to be late than to cause a terrible accident.
How George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers Can Help in Truck Accident Cases
George Sink, P.A Injury Lawyers understand the dangers of driver fatigue and have handled numerous cases involving it1. We have helped thousands of people in Georgia and South Carolina get the money they deserve following a truck accident.2
We will do all the legal legwork and work to ensure you are appropriately compensated for any injuries from truck accidents caused by driver fatigue. Our help includes proving it was caused by driver fatigue, finding the responsible parties, filing the lawsuit, and seeing it through. Call our offices for your free consultation today. We work on contingency, so there are no upfront fees required.*