How Truck Driver Fatigue Contributes to Accidents
The average commercial truck can weigh up to around 80,000 pounds when fully stocked. On the other end of the spectrum, the average passenger vehicle can weigh up to 4,000 pounds or so. Any person who has driven next to a semi or other commercial truck has likely felt very small in comparison. Some drivers even feel nervous when driving next to a truck on the road, especially when in a lane between two of them. Most drivers feel uneasy around these hefty vehicles (and rightfully so), as getting into an accident with a commercial truck can have truly tragic consequences.
Now, if you add a sleepy truck driver to a potential accident scenario, things can only worsen. A driver that is not fully alert when hauling thousands and thousands of pounds of cargo or chemicals can be too devastating to imagine. In the article here, we have provided information about truck driver fatigue through a question and answer format.
What is truck driver fatigue?
Due to the having to meet strict arrival deadlines, a truck driver may feel pressure to skip out on breaks, quality sleep and other forms of rest. Truck drivers may also drive during normal sleeping hours, which can make them more susceptible to being tired behind the wheel. When people become so exhausted that their body is desperate for sleep, we may go through periods of microsleep. These moments can last a fraction of a second or longer, and can occur without us even realizing it. It only takes a short amount of time being inattentive for an accident to be caused.
What should I do if I am ever hit by a commercial truck?
First and foremost, you should focus on your health. Being hit by a commercial truck can lead to a life-threatening situation very quickly. There is no reason why you should shrug off the accident and not receive medical care immediately. If the truck was hauling hazardous chemicals, a fire and severe burns could result. Other examples of possible injuries for drivers hit by a fatigued truck driver are listed here:
- Neck and back injuries
- Severe whiplash
- Crushed extremities
- Broken bones
- Fractured pelvis
- Shattered knee caps
- Deep cuts and heavy bruises
- Emotional trauma
- Facial wounds
- Traumatic brain injury
- Brain swelling and/or bleeding
Can I sue the commercial truck driver for the accident?
If the truck driver was responsible for the accident happening, then you may want to consider getting a consultation from a legal professional. An attorney can evaluate your situation to help you decide whether you want to file a lawsuit. The costs for injury care and vehicles repairs after being hit by a truck can be overwhelming. It is not uncommon for someone to suffer financial distress after a truck accident. When meeting with a truck accident lawyer Lakeland, FL trusts, bring along all the information you have that is related to your medical costs, loss of pay from missing work, vehicle repairs, and any other damages.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at David & Philpot, PL for their insight into trucking accidents.