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Category: Truck Accidents

How Does Driver Fatigue Cause Truck Accidents? | Isaacs & Isaacs

One of the main reasons for several truck accidents each year is driver fatigue. Driver fatigue can cause accidents due to reduced reaction times and poor judgment, plus several other debilitating conditions. Drivers can forget to perform basic operational procedures, become less aware of surrounding environmental conditions, and in the worse-case scenario, could fall asleep behind the wheel.

These trucks are involved in serious auto accidents every year, causing injuries, deaths, and property damage. Victims who walk away with their lives often sustain severe, disabling, and life-changing injuries. If you’ve been injured in a truck accident caused by a fatigued truck driver, you might be entitled to compensation.

What are the Conditions of Driver Fatigue?

The average driver must remain alert and conscious of their surroundings to avoid car accidents. When something does happen, they need to be quick enough to notice and avoid it in time. The amount of concentration truck drivers need is significantly higher, especially if they drive tractor-trailers or carry heavy loads. Due to a truck’s immense size and weight, a momentary lapse of concentration while behind the wheel could have catastrophic consequences for other motorists. As a result, driver fatigue cause truck accidents frequently.

So, how exactly does fatigued driving exacerbate the risk of truck accidents? Here’s how:

  • Judgment and response: Exhaustion and fatigue impair a truck driver’s judgment and hampers their ability to respond swiftly to other drivers and changes in traffic. A tired driver is just as impaired as a drunk driver in many ways, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Diminished awareness: Truck drivers with fatigue may also be unable to notice changes in weather patterns and make proper adjustments. For instance, they may not notice that the rain has reduced visibility and made the road slippery until it’s too late.
  • Sleeping behind the wheel: Fatigue can cause truck drivers to doze off while driving and lose control of their vehicles. Even a few seconds of sleep can cause the truck to careen out of control, drive into oncoming traffic, or crash into pedestrians.
  • Lapses in work: Fatigued truck drivers cannot ensure non-driving procedures are carried out. For example, this could lead to improper loading that could cause the cargo to fall onto the road.
  • Tunneling vision: Exhausted drivers may be unaware of their blind spots. The average commercial truck has four blind spots, so a driver whose judgment, alertness, and reaction speeds are impaired by exhaustion may not be mindful of them all while driving.
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Why are Truck Drivers Prone to Fatigue?

Save for the occasional road trip, the average driver doesn’t spend more than an hour or two behind the wheel. Consequently, they can be fresh and alert whenever they’re on the road. Per the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hours of service regulations, truck drivers regularly make long-haul trips that can last up to 14 hours. This is the maximum amount of time property-carrying drivers are legally allowed to stay behind the wheel.

While drivers are allowed to split their drive, the pressure placed on them to rack up work hours and earn money may make them drive the entire 14 hours even when exhausted. Driver fatigue slows reaction times and significantly increases the risk of truck accidents. Reports show that Driver fatigue cause truck accidents that incur heavy damages.

What Damages Can You Get After a Truck Accident?

Depending on your case, you could get various damages. The following are some of the damages your attorney might negotiate for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Past and future medical bills
  • Scarring and disfigurement
  • Rehabilitation and therapy
  • Wrongful death
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of income
  • Reduced earnings

The damages and compensation depend on your injuries and the accident’s impact on your life. Your attorney will review all your medical records and advise you on the damages to pursue.

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help You?

You might be entitled to damages if you’ve been injured or lost a loved one in a truck accident caused by driver fatigue. These are meant to compensate you for how the crash disrupted your life. However, the reality is that getting this compensation in full will be an uphill battle. The insurance providers will strive to prove that your injuries weren’t a result of the accident or question the severity.

Following your accident, you will be facing hefty medical bills while recovering at home and out of work. With the help of a lawyer to prove the merits of your claim, you can recover your health surrounded by your family and loved ones. Your attorney’s goal will be to get you back to your life.

Your lawyer will file the relevant paperwork and collect the evidence needed to win your case. This includes pictures of the accident site, eyewitness and expert testimonies, and your medical records. They will also review the accident report and speak with your doctors on your condition. Additionally, an attorney will handle all communication with the insurance company and negotiate for a fair settlement. If negotiations aren’t successful, they’ll go to court to fight for your claim.

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