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The Relationship between Truck Driver Fatigue and Accidents 

 June 3, 2022

Drowsy driving is a phenomenon that has been a precursor for deadly truck accidents for many years. The job demands for truck drivers make them go an extra mile to make their bosses happy, to the detriment of other road users.

The moment a truck driver falls asleep behind the wheel, the outcome is not always pleasant. Imagine 80,000 pounds of metal, glass, and cargo hurtling down the highway without control. The damages that arise from such an accident are severe, and most of the people who suffer injuries and fatalities are those in the smaller vehicles.

Driver fatigue occurs due to various reasons:

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Unrealistic Company Expectations

Some companies have unrealistic targets that make the truck driver drive faster for longer just to meet these targets. The company has even come up with penalties for truck drivers that don’t meet the targets.

This means that the driver will drive faster and use shortcuts, disregarding other road users just to get to their destination.

The Desire for More Money

Truck drivers are paid by the mile; therefore, the more miles they cover in a day, the more money they earn. Some of them skip meals and avoid rest stops just to make that extra dollar. Other drivers try to make up for the time that has been lost in a traffic jam by overtaking dangerously and driving for longer without taking a break.

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Fatigue sets in because of the extra effort they put in to get to their destinations on time.

The Monotony of Driving the same Road Every Time

It might be exciting driving along a route for the first time; however, it becomes monotonous as you do this several times a week. With only your thoughts and the occasional hitchhiker, the endless highways become boring and leave you in a trance-like state. Your eyes become heavy, and you quickly doze off.

With tight deadlines staring at you in the face, you have no option but to keep on going. Fatigue can set in and make the journey regrettable.

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With tight deadlines and no time to enjoy healthy food, the driver’s body becomes weak. In such a situation, no one can be 100 percent alert. Even a common cold can make the driver feel weak, causing fatigue.

Medications that the driver takes for illnesses also make them feel drowsy.

Erratic Sleep Schedules

Truck drivers are known to trade their normal shifts with other drivers and take up other shifts to make more money. The unpredictable sleep schedules interfere with their sleep cycle, contributing to fatigue.

The Effects of Fatigue on Driving

Studies show that fatigue has similar effects to driving under the influence. Fatigue comes with various effects:

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The Driver Doesn’t Pay Attention

A drowsy driver cannot pay full attention to what is happening on the road. They make rash decisions, such as changing lanes dangerously. They can easily miss road signs and traffic lights.

Reduced Reaction Times

Fatigue slows the reflexes down. The driver might not be able to react fast enough when faced with a situation that needs his decisiveness. Drivers need adequate time to respond to situations, considering the sheer weight and size of the trucks.

End Up Making Bad Decisions

A truck driver needs to make decisions that sit well with other motorists on the road. However, these decisions need the driver to be alert all the time. Fatigue makes the driver misjudge some situations.

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Call A ‘Truck Accident Lawyer Near Me ‘ In The Event Of An Accident Involving Drowsy Driving

A lawyer with the right skills and experience in personal injuries can help you handle truck accidents properly. The Car Accident Lawyer Chicago helps you prove liability and makes sure you get the compensation you deserve depending on the circumstances and severity of your injuries. Don’t hesitate; make that vital call today to change the narrative of your claim.

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