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The Dangers of Drowsy Truck Drivers

The Dangers of Drowsy Truck Drivers

Drowsy driving is impaired driving. It can affect your ability to pay attention to the road, slows your reaction time, and impairs your judgment. In one year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that drowsy driving was responsible for 72,000 crashes, 44,000 injuries, and 900 deaths.

Large commercial trucks and big rigs are even more likely to get into these accidents, and the outcome can be catastrophic. Knowing these dangers can help you stay alert, focused, and aware when you’re behind the wheel, especially when you’re sharing the road with truckers.

Truckers are more susceptible to drowsy driving

Obviously, drivers who don’t get enough sleep are the most likely to drive drowsy, but commercial truck drivers are especially vulnerable to fatigue due to the nature of their job. A study conducted by the NHTSA found that 141,000 large trucks were involved in fatal and injury crashes. Among the top ten factors included:

  • Traveling too fast (23%)
  • Over-the-counter drug use (17%)
  • Fatigue (13%)

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the trucking industry to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities. One way they do this is by enforcing the Hours of Service schedule that all truckers must obey. However, truckers are often pressured by their employers to meet strict deadlines, travel on the same highway for hours on end, and work long shifts with little to no breaks. Because of this, they may drive faster than what is considered safe, rely on drugs to stay awake, and become exhausted to the point of falling asleep while driving.

It is up to the trucker to be aware of the risks of drowsy driving and take steps to prevent associated mistakes. As a driver in a passenger vehicle, there are tips to consider when sharing the road with a big rig, including:

  • Keep extra distance between your car and the truck.
  • Avoid their blind spots.
  • Drive defensively.

If you have been in an accident involved with a large commercial truck, our team at The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus is ready to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.

Contact our Los Angeles truck accident attorneys at (800) 905-8777 to schedule a free consultation now.

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