We have all had to work after a poor night’s sleep. You know the fatigue and lack of focus that comes with lack of sleep and how your work tends to suffer. Depending on what you do for a living, being drowsy might even put yourself and others in danger.
That is certainly true when the sleepy worker is a trucker. Driving any vehicle safely requires alert attention to the task. Lack of sleep over several days can sap your ability to drive safely. Combine that with operating a massive 18-wheeler on a busy highway, and you have a recipe for disaster.
How fatigue can lead to a truck accident
Besides the obvious risk of dozing off behind the wheel, drowsy driving can affect a truck driver in the following ways:
- Trouble focusing on the road. The driver might be slow to notice changes in traffic speeds and fail to brake in time or forget to check their blind spots before changing lanes.
- Decreased reflexes. An exhausted truck driver can lack the ability to move quickly to avoid a potential crash.
- Poor decision-making. Sleep deprivation can affect your judgment and cause you to make mistakes behind the wheel.
Many truck drivers do not feel they have a choice not to drive while fatigued. They often face intense pressure from their employers to make deliveries within tight time frames. Forced to stay on the road for hours, they may have little time to sleep, despite federal regulations that require regular rest breaks.
A trucking company that helped create the conditions for your truck accident by keeping an exhausted trucker on the road may be liable for your injuries. Exploring your legal options for financial recovery can help you get the most compensation available to you.