Truck drivers have a great responsibility when it comes to keeping various industries up and running. However, they also have a responsibility to drive safely and ensure that they comply with trucking regulations. Of course, some truck drivers could pose a risk even if they comply with regulations, especially if they are suffering from fatigue.
You and many other Texas residents may know that a fatigued driver is a dangerous driver. Numerous factors could play a role in whether a truck driver experiences fatigue. On the bright side, truckers can take steps to combat fatigue. Unfortunately, not all truck drivers take the time to fully rest and awaken before getting behind the wheel.
What can affect trucker fatigue?
Though driving over their allowed number of hours in a day or week can certainly contribute to fatigue, other details can as well, such as:
- Not living a healthy lifestyle, which can lead to blood sugar irregularities and difficulty sleeping
- Driving during hours when a person normally gets sleepy, like overnight, late evenings or early in the morning
- Not taking breaks or catching a quick nap when feeling tired
- Ignoring or not knowing the signs of fatigue and allowing themselves to get overly tired
- Having a less-than-optimal sleeping environment
- Using caffeine, energy drinks, nicotine and other stimulants in an attempt to stay alert without adequate sleep and rest
You cannot know whether a truck driver has gotten enough sleep or is living a lifestyle that helps him or her avoid fatigue. While you may not think much about that danger while on the road, that may change if you find yourself involved in a serious crash caused by a truck driver. You may then find yourself wondering whether fatigue was a factor.
If you do find yourself suffering serious injuries due to the actions or negligence of a fatigued truck driver, you may have reason to seek compensation through a personal injury claim. This type of civil legal action could allow you to hold the truck driver and his or her employer accountable for the damages you suffered. Proving fatigue is not always easy, but evidence from the accident scene, police reports and driver statements could provide you with useful information for your case if needed.