Any time someone is tired while behind the wheel, it presents a potentially serious and dangerous situation. However, if truck drivers are tired, they can make mistakes that result in accidents or fall asleep behind the wheel, which can have devastating consequences for them and others on the road.
Unfortunately, the state of Texas consistently ranks at or near the top of the list when it comes to truck accidents. Many of these accidents are caused by cases of truck driver fatigue.
If you are involved in a truck accident and found the driver was fatigued when it occurred, you may be able to file a lawsuit and recover compensation. You can contact our team at the Burkett Law Firm to learn more about your rights and if you have a case worth pursuing.
Keep reading to learn more about some of the most common truck driver fatigue causes.
Spending too Much Time on the Road
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA, truck drivers can only work for a set number of hours per day and days in a row without adequate rest. This is referred to as Texas’s HOS – hours of service – restrictions.
While there are restrictions in place, some drivers don’t follow the set rules and drive longer than allowed. Many commercial drivers have tight schedules, and they may inadvertently put other people at risk of injuries in a truck accident by staying on the road too long to make deliveries on time.
Truck drivers may not be well-rested for several reasons. Along with not getting enough sleep, they may not get high-quality sleep.
It’s not always comfortable to sleep on the bunks in truck cabs. Also, the stress of a truck driver’s job and other aspects of their life can result in issues falling asleep or insomnia.
Additionally, some sleep disorders can cause inadequate sleep. One that is common among some truck drivers is sleep apnea. If this condition isn’t treated, it will cause poor-quality sleep. This can impact how alert a driver is when they are awake, which increases the risk of falling asleep while behind the wheel.
If a truck driver is diagnosed with sleep apnea, they need to seek treatment to ensure they do not drive while overly tired. Continuing to drive without proper treatment puts everyone on the road in danger.
Certain Types of Medications
Just like anyone else, some commercial truck drivers take medications to help manage different health conditions or symptoms. Some of the most common medications that can result in drowsiness include:
- Anti-seizure medication
- Pain medication and opioids
- Anxiety medication and antidepressants
- Muscle relaxers
- Medication to control diarrhea or nausea
- Blood pressure medication
Several of the medications on this list have warnings that you should avoid driving after you take them. However, many truck drivers continue to drive anyway.
Truck Accidents Caused by Fatigued Driving
Drowsiness and fatigue can result in truck drivers crashing for several reasons. They may:
- Lose focus on the road
- Nod off
- Have slower reaction times
- Fall asleep completely
- Have drooping eyes
Truck drivers should know the signs that they are too tired to drive and take time to sleep or rest before getting back on the road.
Talk to a Corpus Christi Truck Accident Attorney for More Information
If you have been involved in a truck accident that was not your fault, it’s best to contact our legal team right away. We can review the facts of your case and help you recover the damages you deserve. We understand how devastating these accidents can be and are here to help.