Causes of Truck Driver Fatigue
When truck drivers are too tired, they can make mistakes that cause truck crashes or even fall asleep at the wheel. There are many causes of driver fatigue, and if a truck driver causes you injuries, contact a Spring, TX truck accident lawyer.
Many people underestimate the dangers of driving while fatigued, including commercial truck drivers. They might use coffee or energy drinks to help them feel more alert, but these only mask fatigue – not cure it. Research indicates that drowsiness has a similar effect on drivers as being drunk, and both cause truck crashes, injuries, and fatalities every year.
The following are some reasons why truck drivers might be overly fatigued behind the wheel, resulting in accidents. If you suffered injuries in a truck crash, contact the Spring, TX truck accident lawyers at Holladay Law Firm right away.
Driving Too Long
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has strict hours of service (HOS) restrictions that only allow truck drivers to work a certain number of hours and days in a row without proper rest time. However, some drivers violate these rules and drive much longer than they should. Commercial drivers often have tight schedules, and they might put others at risk of injuries in a truck accident by driving too long to make all of their deliveries on time.
Lack of Sleep
There are many reasons why truck drivers might not get enough sleep – or high-quality sleep. Sleeping bunks in semi-trucks are not always the most comfortable, and the stress of the job and other aspects of life can lead to insomnia and other difficulty falling asleep.
In addition, many sleep disorders can result in inadequate sleep. One that is particularly common among truck drivers is sleep apnea, which, when untreated, results in very poor-quality sleep. This, in turn, will impact a driver’s alertness during waking hours, and the risk of falling asleep at the wheel significantly increases. If a truck driver is diagnosed with sleep apnea, they should make sure they have proper treatment or refrain from driving, though many people simply continue with their driving jobs without treatment and put others in danger.
Like anyone else, a commercial truck driver might take different medications to manage various health conditions and symptoms. Some common medications that cause drowsiness include:
- Antidepressants and anxiety medication
- Blood pressure medication
- Medication that controls nausea or diarrhea
- Muscle relaxers
- Opioids and pain medication
- Anti-seizure medication
Many of these medications have warnings not to drive after taking them, but some truck drivers might do so anyway.
Fatigued Driving Truck Crashes
Fatigue and drowsiness can cause drivers to crash for many reasons. They might:
- Lose focus
- Have slower reaction times
- Have drooping eyes
- Nod off
- Fall completely asleep
Truck drivers should always recognize when they are too tired to drive and take the appropriate time to rest or sleep. When a driver fails to stop when they need to, they can crash into other vehicles and injure others.
Consult with Our Spring, TX Truck Accident Attorneys Today
If a truck driver crashed into you and you suffered injuries, you should not wait to speak with a Spring, TX truck accident lawyer from the Holladay Law Firm, PLLC. Call 1-800-900-3319 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.