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Many truck driver errors are blamed on fatigue

Researchers are finding out more about how much our bodies need sleep and what happens to us when we don't get enough of it. Many sources now equate driving while you are drowsy with driving drunk. This is how dangerous researchers now know it is to get behind the wheel when fatigued.

Now imagine that you are driving a massive vehicle weighing several tons and needing a considerable distance to stop. If you are fatigued and your reaction times and judgments are affected, you would more than likely be an accident waiting to happen.

No rest for the weary

Many trucking companies put unreasonable deadlines on their drivers. In response, drivers may cut corners on their sleep time and drive beyond when it is safe to do so. Even though other factors such as the following contribute to truck accidents, mental and physical fatigue is often an underlying cause:

  • Not knowing the road
  • Taking over-the-counter medications
  • Driving too fast for conditions
  • Feeling pressured by employer
  • Not paying attention
  • Being distracted
  • Following too close
  • Being sick
  • Taking illegal drugs
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Jackknifing

Of course, other factors that have nothing to do with the driver can cause an accident, but the majority of the time crashes occur due to some fault of the driver.

Don't truckers have driving limits?

Yes. The federal government does place limits on how long a trucker can drive before resting. For example, truck drivers cannot drive more than 11 hours at a time, but they can only drive that much if they had 10 consecutive hours of time off first. Other regulations apply with the intention of help ensure that truckers get the rest they need.

It might not seem as though driving all day can be exhausting, but if you have ever driven across country, you know that it can be. By the time you get out of your car, you are ready to rest and relax.

Proving fatigue in a truck accident

Remember those driving limits imposed by the federal government? Truckers are required to keep a log to ensure they remain within those regulations. The driver's log can provide a wealth of information regarding whether the driver was fatigued at the time of the crash.

In addition, you will also want to look at the few days prior to the accident and look for the following information:

  • The trucker's behavior at the scene
  • The trucker's condition prior to the crash
  • The weather conditions
  • The road conditions
  • The truck's condition

Factors such as the weather and the condition of the road can exacerbate the issue when a driver is fatigued. Having all of this information could help create a picture of the events that led up to and that occurred during the accident. Establishing the driver's mental and physical state often proves crucial in establishing negligence in an Indiana civil claim.

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