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Truck driver fatigue causes and effects

On Behalf of Christian Ayers
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North Carolina drivers have good reason to be cautious when traveling alongside big rigs. One of the greatest safety threats that commercial truck drivers face virtually every day is drowsiness. Drowsy driving is a form of negligent behavior that significantly raises the risk for a crash, and one can easily imagine the severity of a crash between a large truck and a small passenger vehicle.

Reasons for truck driver fatigue

Truckers become more fatigued than the average passenger vehicle driver because they spend more hours on the road. Eleven consecutive hours is the federally imposed limit for a single shift, after which truckers are required to spend 10 consecutive hours away from the wheel. What compounds the problem is that many truckers will drive part of those 11 hours at night, when sleepiness naturally comes over them. This combination of extended driving hours and nocturnal shifts significantly increases the potential for truck driver injury.

Illness and medications, combined with alcohol use, are other factors. Even the common cold can make a person drowsy. Some medications induce drowsiness as a side effect.

How fatigue raises the risk for a crash

In a recent survey, 1 in 25 respondents admitted to falling asleep behind the wheel at least once in the previous month. However, drowsiness can harm drivers even before things reach that extreme. Fatigue impairs one’s ability to make swift decisions. It slows down the reflexes and impairs one’s ability to concentrate on the road.

Legal assistance for your injury claim

In this state, victims of commercial motor vehicle accidents can file a claim against the other driver’s insurance company as long as the defendant is 100% at fault. It’s called the pure contributory negligence rule. To see if your case would hold up under this, you may want to schedule a legal evaluation. You may hire your lawyer for assistance with every step of the filing process, including the settlement negotiations.