Any person who gets behind the wheel of a car while sleep-deprived, can be greatly putting others on the road at-risk. This can be particularly true for drivers of a much larger vehicle. For example, if a hefty commercial truck was to plow into a significantly smaller car, the results could be devastating. The typical commercial truck weighs on average 50,000 pounds or more. By drastic comparison, the average passenger vehicle may weigh about 3,500 pounds. Between a truck driver and the car driver, the latter is much more likely to suffer potentially life-threatening injuries. If you were to add a sleepy truck driver as a factor to an accident scenario, it can be easy to imagine such tragedy that can ensue. One of the most common issues among truck drivers is lacking sufficient sleep due to the demands of the job.
In the article here, we have answered a series of questions about why fatigue is such a problem in the trucking world, and what you can do to seek retribution in the event of a major crash.
Why is truck driver fatigue such a problem in that career path?
Truck drivers often have to drive for hours and hours at a time, and sometimes during normal sleeping hours (between 10pm and 6am). What may seem like an innocent way to avoid traffic, could actually be causing the body to lack the sleep required in order to operate a truck with care. A truck driver may feel pressure to deliver goods by a certain time, thus being influenced to skip out on breaks and rest periods. Additionally, truck drivers may spend long durations of time separated from family and friends. Truck drivers may be motivated to get through their trip faster in order to get back home to the loved ones they miss.
What are the signs that a truck driver may be fatigued?
Any person who has ever been next to a commercial truck as it swayed back and forth has probably felt at least an little ounce of fear at the risk of being smashed by this gigantic vehicle. So, it is important that car drivers know what to look for in determining whether a truck driver has become a threat to others. Signs that a truck driver may be fatigued while behind the wheel include:
- Drifting across many lanes, or back and forth within one lane
- Lowering head as if nodding off, then suddenly jolting back to alertness
- Staring blankly ahead at the road, blinking often and slowly
- Frequently yawning and appearance unkempt, lacking grooming
- Braking or accelerating at undue times while on the road or highway
What should I do if I am involved in a truck-related crash?
If a sleepy truck driver has caused an accident in which you were involved in, you may want to meet with a Virginia truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. You may be entitled to receiving compensation for your medical bills, vehicle repairs, loss of pay from missing work for recovery, and more.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at MartinWren, P.C. for their insight into truck driving and accidents.