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Why truck driver fatigue is so dangerous, and the risks it poses

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2023 | Truck Accidents |

Ohio residents are used to seeing huge trucks traveling along their roads. Many truck drivers operate responsibly so that everyone can be safe. However, due to their demanding jobs, any trucker can become fatigued; here is why this is dangerous.

Dangers of truck driver fatigue

Truck driver fatigue is equivalent to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It’s comparable to a person having at least a .08% blood alcohol concentration. Unfortunately, even if a trucker is sober, when they’re fatigued behind the wheel, it compromises their ability to safely control their truck. They may begin veering out of their lane and into another.

A fatigued trucker’s focus shifts from their driving even if they don’t actually fall asleep. They may suddenly slow down or speed up and fail to see dangers they would otherwise avoid. Judgment, cognitive ability, reflexes and reaction time are all diminished due to fatigue, increasing the risk of truck accidents.

Causes of truck driver fatigue

Various factors can lead to truck driver fatigue. One of the most common is a truck driver’s working hours; they are expected to work long hours, often late into the night.

The circadian rhythm naturally peaks during the afternoon, but truckers typically work through those hours as well. They also sometimes get orders from the trucking company to push on to make a delivery or pickup without taking rest breaks. Unfortunately, this can lead to fatigue and a severe crash.

Truck driver fatigue can also occur due to illness; even a cold can cause them to not be at their best. If they take certain medications for such ailments or to treat preexisting conditions, it could also cause drowsiness and increase the risk of a truck accident.

Truck accidents caused by fatigue are avoidable. Unfortunately, they can result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities.