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  • Writer's pictureGibbs & Sellers

Truck driver fatigue a big factor in crashes

Drivers who spend a significant amount of time on Alabama roadways know that accidents involving commercial trucks happen in the state on a daily basis. The size and force generated by these trucks make it more likely that individuals who get into accidents with them will sustain injuries than when a crash involves two passenger vehicles.

Statistics from the Department of Transportation show that more than 4,000 Americans lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents involving commercial trucks in 2018. The majority of these deaths were at the expense of an occupant of the passenger vehicle involved in an accident with a big truck.

Trucker fatigue

A main contributing factor in the number of trucking accidents is fatigued truck drivers. Many people are unaware that being tired produces the same effects on a person’s driving after the use of alcohol. Studies show that driving after not sleeping for 24 hours affects drivers as if they were operating a truck with a blood alcohol content of 0.10. The legal limit for truck drivers is 0.04.

When drivers are drowsy, they may find it difficult to concentrate on what is happening in front of them. Changes in speed limits, traffic patterns or traffic lights can become a bit of a blur.

A drowsy driver may also find that he or she does not possess the reflexes to handle hazards he or she encounters on the road. A lack of reflexes can cause big problems if another motorist emerges suddenly from a truckers’ blind spot. The same is true if another car swerves directly into the path of a truck driver who has been awake for an extended time.

Severe fatigue may also cause a dangerous decline in the decision-making ability of a truck driver. The ability to properly gauge situations and make the right decision is important for truck drivers who need to navigate large trucks that take up a lot of road space.

An accident with a big truck is a dangerous event that can lead to a serious injury or worse. Individuals suffering injuries or loss resulting from a trucking accident will need to present a strong case to receive the compensation they deserve. These people may benefit from working with a personal injury attorney.

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