TRUCK DRIVER fatigue is a factor in one-third of all truck crashes, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). A survey of long-haul truck drivers reported that 66 percent of drivers acknowledged experiencing fatigue on at least half of their trips. Thirteen percent of drivers reported actually falling asleep at the wheel.
The most common cause of fatigue is lack of sleep. There are additional factors which affect driver fatigue including greater daytime sleepiness, difficult schedules, more hours of work, time of day, driving experience and the presence of a sleep disorder.
A sleep deprived truck driver has increased reaction time, reduced attention and is prone to errors that can be deadly. Long-distance truck drivers on overnight or early morning routes are more susceptible to the effects of sleep deprivation than during daylight hours because their natural sleep patterns are disrupted. Studies have shown that severe impairment of alertness usually occurs between midnight and 6 AM. One night of sleep loss can impair thinking and decision making.
In response to safety concerns about the high number of fatigue-related heavy truck crashes, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) adopted more stringent hours-of-service regulations for commercial motor vehicle drivers. Nevertheless, sleep deprived truck crashes continue to occur, causing severe injuries and death to innocent passengers and vehicle drivers.
The role that fatigue may have played in a truck driving crash is a complex issue requiring the retention of attorneys with specialized knowledge and expertise in the areas of sleep deprivation, human factors, hours-of-service regulations and trucking safety. The lawyers at the Van Blois & Associates firm have specialized knowledge and experience in truck crash cases and are immediately ready and able to represent members of the motoring public who have been injured and damaged in a truck crash.