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How serious is fatigued driving among commercial truck drivers?


You see them everyday on the roadways. Large trucks, whether used to transport goods or equipment, are a huge part of intrastate and interstate commerce. While motorists in Georgia are used to sharing the road with these massive vehicles, commercial truck drivers do not work normal 9 to 5 shifts on Mondays through Fridays. Because of that, some truck drivers work long hours, during the weekend and even throughout the night. Thus, driver fatigue is a concern at all hours of the day, especially when such a circumstance could lead to a serious truck accident.

How serious is fatigued driving among commercial truck drivers? According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, fatigue is the result of physical or mental exhaustion, which is likely to impair a person's performance. With regards to driver fatigue, this is likely due to lack of adequate sleep, extended work hours, strenuous activities and a combination of various other factors.

Based on the Large Truck Crash Causation Study, it was reported that 13 percent of commercial truck drivers were fatigued at the time of the crash they were involved in. When a truck driver is drowsy, this makes it difficult for them to pay attention to the road. This can be especially dangerous at night, causing the driver to go off the shoulder of the road, hit a curb, cross into another lane or even collide with another vehicle.

In order to address driver fatigue, truck drivers should focus on getting enough sleep, maintaining a healthy diet, taking adequate naps, avoiding medications that could induce drowsiness, recognizing the signals of drowsiness and not relying on tricks to keep alert or awake. In addition to focusing on these tips, truck drivers should follow federal trucking regulations. This helps ensure that a truck driver is not working beyond the maximum number of allowed a week and is taking enough breaks.

When a truck driver is negligent and fails to comply with federal trucking regulations, driver fatigue could result, causing a serious or even fatal truck accident. Those harmed by a negligent truck driver might have legal recourses for the damages and losses caused by the incident. A personal injury claim could help an accident victim recover compensation for expenses for medical bills, lost wages and other related damages.

Source: fmcsa.dot.gov, "CMV Driving Tips - Driver Fatigue," accessed June 19, 2016

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