The trucking industry has exploded in the past few decades, with a drastic increase in the number of trucks on the road. Here in the United States, it is estimated that there are approximately 13 million trucks in operation. That includes trucking companies, the private sector and warehouses. At times, it can feel like the only vehicles on the road are trucks, they are that common.
But working as a truck driver isn’t exactly easy, with many of them putting in very long shifts and covering great distances or driving on congested roads. Sure, they know the important safety tips, but that doesn’t mean they follow them. All too often you hear about truck driver fatigue and the consequences it can cause. What’s wrong with truck drivers getting behind the wheel when fatigued? Let’s look at the issues.
Reaction Times Are Reduced
When a person is feeling tired, one of the first signs is that their reaction times slow down. Think what kind of dire consequences that can have behind the wheel of a truck. If they don’t notice a potential obstacle or issue and react fast enough, they can cause an accident. The driver may be slow to brake, veer out of the way and so forth. They may even be responsible for creating a chain reaction of accidents on the road.
An Inability to Focus
Feeling fatigued also makes it very difficult to focus on anything let alone the road in front of you. For a long-haul truck driver whose drive may not be especially exciting, it’s easy for their mind to wander or turn off due to fatigue. Combine that with the slow reaction time, and it’s a recipe for disaster.
Falling Asleep at the Wheel
Of course, the most dangerous consequence of fatigue for truck drivers on the road is that they fall asleep at the wheel. All it takes is to doze off for a couple of seconds and it can be enough that they hit another vehicle or person, causing injury or worse, even death.
What Are the Most Common Accidents?
In terms of the most common accidents that truckers find themselves in, it tends to be hitting other vehicles on the road but also pedestrians and bikers. It is the same as what you would expect from accidents involving cars. The problem is that trucks are much bigger and heavier, so the damage and injuries can be more severe.
What If You’re the Victim of a Truck Driver Accident?
Fatigue as well as other factors can contribute to accidents involving trucks. So, what happens if you’re the victim of one of these accidents where the truck driver was the one at fault? It’s best to contact one of our experienced lawyers at Farnsworth and Vance as soon as possible after the accident, while all the details are fresh in your mind.
We are happy to meet with you so we can discuss your case, let you know the steps involved in filing a claim, and discuss what the potential outcome would be and compensation.
We invite you to visit our office at 2525 Gambell Street #410, Anchorage, AK 99503 or call now for a free consultation on (907) 290-2576.