Role of Fatigue in Truck Accidents
Americans are exhausted. We juggle school, work (sometimes multiple jobs), families and other responsibilities. Getting enough sleep is important, but it does not always happen. There just are not enough hours in the day.
As such, many of us are tired when we get behind the wheel of a vehicle. While this may seem like no big deal, it’s actually a huge issue when it comes to semi trucks. In fact, most truck accidents are caused by drivers who are overworked and tired. Truck crashes can be caused by road and weather conditions, speeding, intoxication and other factors, but fatigue is the most dangerous cause. In fact, it is just as dangerous as driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Driver fatigue is something that can be avoided. Instead of getting proper rest, though, many truck drivers use drugs, energy drinks and other methods to stay awake. These drivers often get drowsy over time and cause serious truck crashes.
What is Driver Fatigue?
A truck driver is suffering from fatigue when he or she is too mentally or physically tired to drive a truck safely. So while yawning here and there isn’t really a big deal, if you’re struggling to keep your eyes open, it’s time to pull over and rest before something serious happens.
Fatigue is serious because your reaction times are decreased. You may not be able to stop in time to avoid an accident. You may fall asleep while driving and veer off the road or hit other vehicles and objects.
Why Are Truck Drivers so Exhausted?
Truck drivers are under a lot of pressure. They are often paid by the load or mile, so they are often in a hurry to get from Point A to Point B. To get there as quickly as possible, they may engage in dangerous actions, such as speeding and driving even while tired.
To combat this, there are laws in place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Drivers are allowed to drive for 11 consecutive hours after being off duty for 10 hours straight. Drivers are limited to 60 hours of work in one week or 70 hours in eight days.
Despite these laws, accidents caused by fatigue still happen quite often. That’s because trucking companies do not always follow these laws. If they don’t, though, they can be held liable for a crash and face serious penalties.
Contact a West Palm Beach Truck Accident Lawyer Today
Being tired is not a minor issue when it comes to the task of driving. Semi trucks are some of the largest vehicles on the road, and drivers need to be alert and in control. Falling asleep can lead to serious damages.
If you were involved in a truck accident involving fatigue or some other issue, the West Palm Beach truck accident lawyers at Pike & Lustig, LLP can help. We can assess your case and gather the evidence needed to hold the truck driver and other entities accountable for their actions.