Commercial truck drivers work very long hours, often in difficult driving conditions due to construction, accidents or weather. Their job necessitates trying to drive as much as possible at one time, especially when their cargo is something perishable or time-sensitive.
Unfortunately, working long shifts and driving for hours on end can create fatigue and exhaustion for drivers. When a driver feels drowsy or exhausted at the wheel, they can potentially get into a situation that endangers them and other people and even cause a serious commercial truck crash.
As such, the federal government limits how long commercial drivers can stay behind the wheel in an attempt to prevent widespread drowsy driving by commercial drivers. Truckers who break the rules or who have other demands outside of work could be far too tired to drive safely.
How does exhaustion affect driving?
Some people compare the effects of exhaustion on the brain to the effects of alcohol. Drivers who get behind the wheel when very tired may have similar diminished capacity issues to those experienced by people who drive after drinking.
Difficulty focusing, problems with decision-making and even increased reaction times can all stem from drivers’ fatigue. The longer someone goes without sleep, the worse their driving ability becomes. Unfortunately, truckers may work shifts nearly long enough to get them to a point of dangerously sleep-deprived on their own.
When you factor in a possible commute to pick up their truck in the morning and bad sleep habits, extreme fatigue could potentially impact countless truck drivers on the American roads. If you believe that the driver involved in your crash was too exhausted to safely drive, you might have grounds to seek compensation for the property damage and medical costs you’ve incurred as the result of the crash.