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How fatigue affects big rig truck drivers

On Behalf of | Aug 9, 2022 | Truck Accidents |

Most people know the effects of fatigued driving, as tired drivers who don’t get enough sleep are more prone to causing accidents. When that tired driver gets behind the steering wheel of a truck, those dangers are magnified due to the weight and size of many semi-tractor-trailers. That problem is even more prevalent in Illinois due to the number of interstate highways bisecting the state.

What causes truck driver fatigue?

Several factors can cause truck driver fatigue besides getting behind the wheel in addition to not getting enough sleep. Legal regulations limit truck drivers from driving more than 11 hours at a time. Yet too many drivers feel they need to push through no matter what to deliver their loads, sometimes resulting in motor vehicle accidents. Additional factors that can cause fatigue are:

  • Illness, like a cold or the flu, where the body craves sleep to heal
  • Medications that cause sleepiness
  • Working shifts outside regular hours

Because most drivers get paid by the mile, many will often continue driving, even after fatigue sets in. Sometimes trucking companies pressure their drivers to deliver loads, even when faced with bad weather that slows their progress.

Driving while fatigued can also cause the same problems as driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Their reaction time may be longer, and they may not make wise decisions about driving.

What should I do if injured in a trucking accident?

Taking the proper steps after involvement in a trucking accident can help protect your health and well-being following the incident. Even if the accident is minor, you should report it to the proper authorities. Getting prompt treatment for injuries is also essential, especially if your injuries are severe. Although notifying your insurance company to get paid for damages and medical care is necessary, you may also file a lawsuit against the driver and the trucking company.

Working diligently to determine what caused the trucking accident ay uncover a fatigued driver. Violations of trucking law can also play into the level of compensation you may receive due to negligence.