Truckers drive a lot of miles on each shift. Before they start out, they must ensure that they’re getting adequate sleep. Without this, they run the risk of becoming fatigued. A trucker who isn’t well-rested can end up making mistakes that could result in the death of innocent people.
The federal government has established regulations regarding how many hours these professionals can drive before they have to take a mandatory break. Interestingly, the Federal Motor Carrier Administration completed a study that found that the time on task was less of a factor in driver alertness than the time of day.
Humans have a natural body rhythm, known as the circadian rhythm, that causes the person to become drowsy from midnight to 6:00 in the morning and from 2:00 to 4:00 in the afternoon. People who drive during these times might find that fatigue creeps up.
Being awake for 18 hours can cause a person to experience an impairment when they drive that’s equivalent to a blood alcohol concentration level of .08%, which is considered legally drunk. Unfortunately, there are truckers who think they can beat fatigue and continue their haul. This is often due to tight deadlines and a lack of empowerment from the company they are driving for.
Individuals who are harmed in a crash with a fatigued trucker might opt to pursue a claim for compensation based on the damages they suffered in the wreck. These can include the wages they were unable to earn because of the injury, as well as the medical care expenses related to the incident.