The Hours of Operation regulations set strict shift limits for truckers. Unfortunately, driving too many hours isn’t the only factor that can lead to fatigue. A trucker who is fatigued for any reason is a significant hazard to others on the road because they might not be able to handle the rig in the safest manner.
Fatigue is a contributing factor in around 40 percent of semitruck crashes. However, fatigue is preventable with proper precautions.
One factor that might lead to a trucker being fatigued is that they often aren’t empowered to stop and rest when they need to. Instead, they are expected to be almost like driving machines. Trucking companies should make it clear that if a trucker is showing signs of fatigue, such as nodding off, feeling dazed or drifting out of lanes, they need to take a break before getting back on the road. Sadly, the need to have rapid delivery times might prevent this.
Some of the factors besides lack of sleep that can lead to fatigued might be preventable. Truckers who drive at night are more likely to suffer from fatigue, so having them drive primarily during daytime hours might be beneficial. The reason that nighttime driving is a risk is that this is the time when the human body expects to sleep. The hypnotizing effect of the highway at night, partially due to the headlights of oncoming vehicles, might also contribute.
Health issues, such as diabetes and obesity, might also cause fatigue. Ensuring that truckers are in an appropriate condition to drive is imperative. Additionally, stress, sleep disorders, driving in a hot cab and doing duties besides driving might also lead to fatigue.
Victims of trucking crashes can seek compensation from the responsible parties. An experienced attorney can help you work to do this.