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How truck driver fatigue leads to accidents

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2022 | Truck Accidents |

Most people in Michigan understand that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is extremely dangerous. However, many don’t understand that driving while extremely fatigued can be just as unsafe as driving drunk. Drowsy driving is especially dangerous when a large truck is involved.

Commercial truck drivers can easily become fatigued

Commercial truck drivers are legally allowed to drive for 11 hours without a break as long as they take a 10-hour rest period beforehand. While sleeping in unfamiliar locations on the road, truck drivers may not get adequate sleep before driving for a full shift. Truckers also face a lot of pressure to make their deliveries on time, so canceling a drive due to exhaustion is usually not an option.

Other causes of truck driver fatigue

Staying healthy on the road is a challenge for truck drivers, since they usually have to eat whatever is available at truck stops. A combination of poor diet, lack of exercise and inadequate sleep can aggravate health problems. When a truck driver is feeling sick, their body is going to crave even more sleep than usual, which can lead to increased fatigue.

Dangers of truck driver fatigue

Falling asleep at the wheel is one of the most obvious signs of a dangerously fatigued truck driver. However, more subtle effects of truck driver fatigue can also lead to truck accidents. Fatigue is similar to intoxication, and it can cause problems like:

• Poor decision-making

• Slower reflexes

• Difficulty judging distances

• Memory issues

Proving truck driver fatigue

If you were involved in an accident with a truck, you may suspect that the truck driver caused the accident due to fatigue. In many cases, truck driver fatigue can be proven with driving logs. If the trucker was working beyond legal hours of service, the trucking company could be liable for the accident.