The Prevalence of Truck Driver Fatigue and Accidents

Truck driver leaning over steering wheel with hand on his head looking fatigued.

Why Do Truckers Tire So Easily?

There are many reasons why truck drivers may experience fatigue while driving. Some truckers may drive long hours to meet deadlines, leading to cumulative sleep deprivation. Others may be inexperienced or inadequately trained and are not used to driving long hauls or know the importance of getting enough rest before heading out on the road. Driving a large truck is also physically demanding, and truckers often spend extended periods of time sitting in the same position. Here’s what you need to know about truck driver fatigue.

The Facts About Truck Driver Fatigue

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for regulating the trucking industry and ensuring the safety of truck drivers and the public. The FMCSA has conducted several studies on truck driver fatigue, including the Large Truck Crash Causation Study. This study found that driver fatigue was a factor in 13% of all truck crashes and that truck drivers were responsible for 36% of all truck crashes.

Another FMCSA study found that starting the workweek tired (lack of proper recovery time) and difficulties finding a place to rest played a significant role in driver fatigue.

How Does Truck Driver Fatigue Lead to Accidents?

Driver fatigue can lead to accidents in several ways. Fatigued truck drivers may have trouble staying focused on the road, fall asleep at the wheel, or may not be able to react quickly enough to avoid a collision.

How Can Truck Driver Fatigue Be Prevented?

There are several things drivers can do to prevent truck driver fatigue, including:

  • Driving shorter distances
  • Taking breaks every two hours
  • Getting enough recovery time and sleep

Trucking companies need to do better when it comes to helping their drivers avoid fatigue. The Motor Carrier Scheduling Practices and Their Influence on Driver Fatigue Study found that carriers aren’t providing adequate recovery time and educating and encouraging drivers to use this time wisely. Carriers and shippers are not cohesive when it comes to scheduling driving hours and the performance of loading and unloading activities. Improvements in these areas can help reduce the risk of trucking accidents due to driver fatigue.

Injured in a Truck Crash? We Can Help.

Truck accidents are among the most dangerous crashes that often lead to catastrophic and life-threatening injuries. If a negligent truck driver harmed you or a loved one, we are here to help you seek justice.

Learn if you are eligible to obtain financial compensation for your losses. Schedule a consultation with an attorney at Grewal Law PLLC by calling (888) 211-5798 today.

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