4 Reasons Truck Drivers May Be at Increased Risk of Drowsy Driving
The DOT says that about 15% of truck accidents are related to fatigue. When a truck driver is tired, they are not able to react as quickly as they would if they were fully rested. This makes it challenging for them to focus on the road. In the worst cases, a truck driver may actually fall asleep while they are driving
While any person behind the wheel of a vehicle is in danger of being involved in an accident due to being drowsy, truck drivers are particularly at risk. Keep reading to discover four reasons that it is so dangerous for truck drivers to be drowsy. If you have been the victim of an accident caused by another person acting negligently or recklessly then we encourage you to contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 for a free legal consultation.
1. Truck drivers are more likely to drive at night
Humans are, in their natural state, meant to sleep when it is dark out. This makes it particularly difficult to stay both awake and alert during the night. Unfortunately, many long-haul truck drivers do not have a choice and must drive during the night if they want to get their work done on time.
2. Truck drivers often have irregular sleep schedules
In order for a person to be fully rested, they need seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep every 24 hours. Due to their jobs, this not often possible for a truck driver. They may have to get up at two in the morning to pick up a load one day, then pick up a load at ten at night the next week. What is worse is that studies have shown that when a worker does not have a regular sleep schedule, they become more tired.
3. Truck drivers are often pressured by their employers
There are federal laws in place to keep truck drivers from working so long that they are not getting enough rest. Unfortunately, some employers find ways for their drivers to get around these rules and do not offer them the breaks they need or have them drive for more than the 70 hour maximum the law sets.
4. More than 33% of truck drivers have sleep apnea
A recent study by the University of Pennsylvania found that one out of three commercial truck drivers has sleep apnea. This may be because there is a correlation between sleep apnea and obesity, and the sedentary lifestyle of a truck driver makes them more likely to be overweight. Regardless of the reason, sleep apnea has been declared a risk factor for drowsy driving.
If you have been involved in a truck, motorcycle, or car accident then you may need to speak to a personal injury attorney. It is easy to get a free consultation – just contact Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 and we can offer you our best legal advice.