Sharing the road with semi-trucks can be intimidating. Their sheer size can make it challenging for you to navigate the road in your own personal vehicle. But it also means that any accident involving a big rig often results in devastating consequences, usually for the other drivers involved. What’s even worse, the reason behind many trucking accidents is entirely preventable.
A leading cause in trucking accidents
It’s no secret that truck drivers must make long journeys in order to complete their deliveries. But this where the root of the problem often lies.
Fatigue is one of the leading causes of accidents involving semi-trucks. Often times, truck companies impose unrealistic schedules on their employees, which makes truck drivers push themselves past exhaustion in order to complete a delivery. Other times, truck drivers might simply be impatient to end their long, arduous journey. Instead of taking a break, they’ll continue on even if they’re tired.
How does fatigue affect truck drivers?
Like in any driver, fatigue can slow a truck driver’s reaction time and ability to assess situations by a significant amount. And not only does fatigue affect a driver’s brain, but also their eyesight. Truck drivers who drive while tired might miss exits or road signs or have difficulty seeing the road in front of them, especially when it gets dark.
Falling asleep at the wheel is a possible result of fatigued driving as well. When drowsy drivers slip into a doze, they run the risk of veering into other lanes, increasing their speed and rear-ending other drivers.
There are rules truck drivers must follow
Truck drivers must take breaks on long-hauls in order to avoid fatigue and prevent accidents. While there are several conditions that determine how long a truck driver can work, a few include:
- Drivers can be on duty for up to 14 hours
- Drivers can only drive for 11 out of the 14 hours
- The remaining three hours are reserved for break times
- Drivers must take a mandatory 30-minute break after eight hours of consecutive driving
- After a 14-hour duty period, drivers must take a 10-hour off-duty break
In the event of an accident
Unfortunately, not all truck drivers abide by their required break schedule. If you received serious injuries in a car accident due to a fatigued truck driver’s negligence, don’t hesitate to seek financial restitution for any damages you received. You have a right to hold a truck driver responsible for their actions that caused you pain.