Lehigh Valley: 610-435-7400

Philadelphia: 215-567-6616

Tired Truck Drivers Are More Likely to Cause Accidents

How Truck Driver Fatigue Endangers Everyone on the Road

Truck driver fatigue causes an estimated 30% to 40% of accidents involving semi-trucks. Accidents with trucks are some of the deadliest due to their weight, speed, force, and cargo. If you've been involved in an accident with a truck, speaking with an Allentown personal injury attorney will help you understand your rights.

Causes of Driver Fatigue

Many truck drivers work irregular shifts and long hours, both of which contribute to fatigue. Medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism, influenza, and COVID-19 may cause fatigue. Many people take medications that cause tiredness. Antihistamines and antidepressants are common medications that cause sleepiness. Other causes of truck driver fatigue include alcohol consumption, poor sleep, depression, and drug use.

Lack of Focus

Tired people have difficulty focusing and paying attention to the task at hand. Unfortunately for truck drivers, they have multiple tasks to do at the same time. They must pay attention to their speed, direction of travel, orientation, the traffic around them, road conditions, signs, and their cargo. This lack of focus may cause the truck driver to miss important information, such as a traffic light changing, another driver signaling a turn, or another motorist attempting to enter or exit traffic.

Poor or Slow Decision Making

Drivers have to make fast decisions. Ideally, a truck driver would recognize that they need to change lanes in order to exit about a mile or two before they leave the interstate. A fatigued driver might not realize their proximity to the exit until the last second, causing them to cut off vehicles behind them. Tired truck drivers may also make bad judgments about speed during inclement weather, how much distance they need to stop or maneuver or how much distance to leave between them and the driver ahead of them.

Slower Reaction Time

Fatigue causes the body to react more slowly than the same individual reacts when they're well-rested. A truck driver needs to be agile with their hands and feet. Slower reaction time may cause a truck driver to hit the brakes too late or too suddenly, resulting in a jackknifed trailer. Slow reaction times may also result in rear-end accidents, which could crush small cars.

Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel

Extreme fatigue may cause a truck driver to fall asleep behind the wheel. Even nodding off for a few seconds is enough time to cause an accident. Falling asleep causes disorientation and a loss of awareness, and the driver may completely lose control of the truck.

What to Do After an Accident With a Fatigued Truck Driver

In the immediate aftermath of a big rig accident, you may feel shocked. A huge truck just hit your vehicle, and what you do in those moments makes a big difference. First, report the accident. Call 911 if you're injured. Get a copy of the police report, and take note of the officer's name. Next, take photos of your vehicle, the truck, and the location of the accident. Get witness information, including names and contact details. Get medical attention. Even if you don't think you're hurt, you could have an injury that's masked by adrenaline. Visit an emergency room, and have the paramedics take you. Keep documentation of all medical care you receive. Contact your auto insurance company to report the accident. Finally, consult with an Allentown personal injury attorney. Your focus should be on healing, and the lawyer can handle the rest. If you or your family member were in an accident caused by a fatigued truck driver, consulting with one of our personal injury attorneys could help you protect your rights and your financial future. To schedule an appointment, contact Metzger & Kleiner in Philadelphia at 215-567-6616 or its Lehigh Valley office at 610-435-7400. You can also fill out and submit our online contact form, and one of our associates will contact you as soon as possible to schedule a consultation.

Speak Your Mind


© 2024 Metzger & Kleiner All Rights Reserved. Site Map | Disclaimer | Allentown Car Accidents | Allentown Truck Accidents