Why Driver Fatigue Is Increasingly Likely to Lead to Truck Accidents

 Posted on June 29, 2021 in Truck Accidents

cook county truck accident lawyerCurrently, the trucking industry in the United States is experiencing a critical shortage of truck drivers. Industry experts have reported that companies have been struggling to recruit new drivers for the past several years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted their ability to provide drivers with the proper training. At the same time, the need to ship cargo has increased since there has been a surge in e-commerce during the pandemic. 

These factors have combined to create a situation where fewer drivers are available to meet the increasing demand for shipping, which has made it more likely that drivers will be spending more time on the road. Because of this, truck drivers are more likely to push themselves beyond their limits, increasing the chances that they will be fatigued or drowsy while behind the wheel. This can lead to dangerous truck accidents, and in these cases, victims will need to work with an attorney to determine how they can hold a negligent truck driver and trucking company accountable for their injuries and damages.

Dangers of Truck Driver Fatigue

Federal hours of service regulations place restrictions on the amount of time commercial truck drivers can spend driving. In addition to limits on the number of hours they can drive at a time, they are required to take regular breaks and spend a certain number of hours off-duty after a shift behind the wheel, and there is a limit on the number of hours they can drive each week. 

Due to the increased need for shipping, truck drivers may attempt to exceed their allowed number of hours on the road, and some trucking companies may encourage their drivers to do so. However, this can be very dangerous since drowsiness or fatigue can significantly impair a person’s ability to drive safely. When tired, a person is more likely to miss important details, such as the movement of other vehicles or the presence of obstacles in the road. Drowsiness will also increase a person’s reaction times, which may cause them to be unable to respond to conditions on the road in time to avoid a collision. If a truck driver falls asleep behind the wheel or even nods off for a few seconds, their truck will travel a significant distance while out of their control, and they may collide with other vehicles, pedestrians, or obstacles.

Truck drivers should decrease the chances of fatigue by ensuring that they get enough sleep, maintaining a healthy diet, and avoiding using alcohol or medications that can induce drowsiness. If necessary, drivers should stop driving when they are feeling drowsy and take breaks or naps. Drivers should also avoid relying on ineffective alertness tricks such as drinking caffeinated beverages, opening their windows, or increasing the volume of their radio.

Contact Our Cook County Truck Accident Lawyers

Truck drivers who attempt to drive when they are drowsy or tired place everyone on the road in danger. If you have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, the lawyers of Winters Salzetta O’Brien & Richardson, LLC can investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash and determine whether driver fatigue was a factor. We will work to ensure that you are fully compensated for your injuries. To arrange a free consultation with our Chicago, IL truck accident attorneys, call our office at 312-236-6324.


Share this post:
American Association of Justice American Board of Trial Advocates Illinois State Bar Association Illinois Trial Lawyers Association
Back to Top