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The relationship between truck driver fatigue and accidents

On Behalf of | Oct 12, 2022 | Truck accidents

Truck accidents are not just common in Texas, but they’re also some of the deadliest on U.S. roads, given the size and weight of these vehicles. While there are many factors that can contribute to a crash, one of the most common is driver fatigue.

What causes fatigue among truck drivers?

Truck drivers usually work long hours, and sometimes they have to drive for several days straight in order to meet deadlines. This can lead to sleep deprivation, which can in turn cause fatigue. Another common cause of fatigue among truck drivers is undiagnosed sleep apnea. This condition can cause people to wake up frequently during the night, which leads to daytime fatigue. Thirdly, some medications can cause fatigue. For example, over-the-counter cold medicines and some prescription medications can make people feel drowsy. Last but not least, drinking alcohol can also cause fatigue because it disrupts sleep and impairs motor skills.

How does truck driver fatigue lead to motor vehicle accidents?

When truck drivers are fatigued, they may have trouble keeping their eyes open and staying alert. This can cause them to swerve into other lanes, run red lights or even fall asleep at the wheel. Additionally, fatigue can impair a person’s motor skills, making it more difficult to brake or steer properly, leading to serious motor vehicle accidents, especially on busy highways or in bad weather conditions. Last but not least, fatigue can also cause mental lapses, making it more difficult for truck drivers to make decisions in a matter of seconds. For instance, they may not see a car in their blind spot or misjudge the speed of an oncoming vehicle.

If you’re a truck driver, it’s important to get enough rest before getting behind the wheel. That means getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night, and taking breaks every few hours when driving. If you’re suffering from undiagnosed sleep apnea, it’s important to see a doctor and get treatment. Finally, avoid drinking alcohol before driving, as it will only make fatigue worse. In the event that you see a fatigued truck driver on the road, give them plenty of space and avoid passing if possible.