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Thomas DeLattre and Glen D. Wieland

Drowsy truckers a frequent cause of auto accidents

On Behalf of | Aug 12, 2021 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Large trucks are unavoidable on Florida roads. These vehicles are intimidating and travel at significant speeds. When adding in the possibility that drivers are under the influence, distracted and behaving recklessly in general, it increases the chance of a collision. An underreported issue with truckers is drowsy driving. This should be considered as a potential cause when there is a crash.

How fatigue can negatively impact safe truck driving

There are several reasons why truck driver fatigue can happen. These include being in poor health, medical issues, extended time on the road in a single stretch, and a lack of sufficient sleep. The simple act of driving causes a person to become tired. This is due to the vibration from the vehicle which is exacerbated with a large truck. Tiredness can cause a lack of alertness, slowed reactions and making poor decisions.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration advises drivers to be cognizant of the importance of sleep with the optimum amount being seven to nine hours. It also says diet should be factored in. It is easy to get caught up in the fast food cycle at rest stops or to skip meals completely. This could lead to weakness and low blood sugar and contribute to dozing off. Strategies that some think are effective to ward off drowsiness – coffee, having the radio loud, opening all the windows – generally do not work. Even something as simple as sitting up straight in a seat that is tailored to the driver’s body can prevent feeling drowsy and avoid motor vehicle accidents.

Truck accident investigations should consider drowsiness as a factor

Statistically, the National Transportation Safety Board says that in 2015 alone, 20% of truck collisions it analyzed were due to trucker fatigue. That is a significant portion of the 4,050 accidents involving large trucks that happened that year. Injuries suffered in truck accidents can be catastrophic. With medical costs, lost income and long-term challenges, it is imperative to know how to proceed. Seeking guidance for a full investigation and what steps to take can be helpful.

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