Large truck collisions occur for various reasons, but you should understand the dangers associated with truck driver fatigue. Across the country, many large truck drivers become drowsy, and this can make it very hard for them to focus on the road. Sadly, fatigue plays a role in many serious accidents that leave victims with debilitating injuries. In some instances, large truck accidents caused by driver fatigue prove deadly.
Truckers, trucking companies and all drivers should review statistics on trucker fatigue and risk factors associated with these accidents.
Risk factors associated with large truck driver fatigue
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration reports that large truck drivers become fatigued for many reasons, whether they fail to get enough sleep or they work for too long. Sadly, some truck drivers push themselves to keep working even though they are too tired to drive safely, while others take to the road after a poor night of sleep or while struggling with a chronic sleep disorder.
Other risk factors include a poor diet and depending on alertness methods that do not address the problem (such as opening the window or drinking coffee). Sometimes, truckers take certain medications that make them drowsy.
Data on accidents caused by truck driver fatigue
Drowsy driving can occur at any time of day, but drivers are especially likely to struggle with drowsiness between 12 AM and 6 AM. Research shows that staying awake for more than 18 hours impacts driving in a way that is similar to having a blood alcohol content level of .08. Moreover, a study on large truck crashes found that 13% of commercial motor vehicle drivers involved in accidents struggled with fatigue during the accident.