When Truck Drivers Become Fatigued
Those who venture out onto the roadways to go about their daily routine, are likely to come across a commercial truck or two. These hefty trucks are to deliver large quantities of product or chemicals to an assigned destination. The average truck can weigh anywhere from 50,000-80,000 pounds. Any driver who has been in a lane next to a commercial truck may not be surprised at this number, since these trucks can be quite intimidating in real life. The standard passenger vehicle can weigh 3,000-4,000 pounds. Considering this sheer difference in weight, if an accident were to occur between a truck and car, the results could be tragic.
Then, if you add the fact that some truck drivers may be fatigued behind the wheel, it can be very scary to picture the potential consequences. The article to follow has covered common questions about truck driver fatigue, and what you can do to seek compensation if you are ever involved in such an accident.
Why is truck driver fatigue an issue?
Truck drivers can have very demanding jobs, in which they have to operate on strict deadlines and schedules. Not only do they have the pressure to get where they need to go by a certain date and time, but they also have to safely haul a vehicle carrying goods or liquids. Additionally, many truck drivers may drive during typical sleeping hours in order to get ahead of schedule and avoid traffic. This habit could easily lead to an interruption of the body’s wake and sleep cycle, along with forced periods of microsleep.
What is microsleep? And why is this dangerous?
Microsleep is a brief period of time in which the body sleeps, lasting from a fraction of a second up to half a minute. The person may not even realize this is happening, and can be temporarily incapable of responding to what is happening on the road. A truck driver losing his or her awareness of the road for even a second or two can result in tragedy.
What functions are impaired when a truck driver is fatigued?
When a truck driver does not take the breaks, lunches and quality sleep that he or she needs, mental functions can become impaired. It is not uncommon for a beyond exhausted truck driver to have a slower reaction time to threats on the road, waver in the lane, make judgement errors, and be increasingly irritable or moody.
What should I do if I get hit by a truck driver?
First and foremost, you should seek medical attention while at the scene of the accident. Even if you think you feel alright enough, chances are you sustained some sort of injury. Depending on how fast the truck driver was doing and at which angle you were hit, can determine whether you may endure a critical injury or not. However, it is fairly rare for a driver to be hit by a commercial truck and walk away without any injuries. Then, consider meeting with a truck accident lawyer Lakeland, FL residents rely on about your legal options, and how you can go about seeking compensation for your losses.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at David & Philpot, PL for their knowledge about truck accidents.