Truck Driver Fatigue
Fatigue (being tired) and lack of alertness are big problems for truck drivers and the trucking industry. Some argue it’s the biggest threat our highway safety. That’s because the body's need for sleep is beyond a person's control.
Fatigued Drivers Endanger the Motoring Public
Most people are less alert at night, especially after midnight. This is particularly true if a truck driver has been driving for a long time.
Truck drivers may not see hazards as soon, or react as quickly, so the chance of a crash is greater. The only safe cure for fatigue is for a trucker to get off the road and get some sleep. If they don't, they recklessly risk their own life and the lives of others.
Unhealthy and Overweight Truck Drivers are More Prone to Fatigue
There are medical conditions that can lead to fatigued truck drives. The most common is obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. Its estimated that a large percentage of truck drivers – up to one third -- have OSA. OSA is a sleep disorder where a person stops breathing on and off throughout the night which leads to chronic sleepiness. OSA is a significant and problem for truck drivers. Age, neck size, crash history, gender and hypertension are all warning signs of undiagnosed OSA.
Truck drivers and those they drive for are aware of the risks OSA to the general motoring public. They have a duty to all those on the road to make sure truck drivers who have OSA, or, who by advanced age and excessive weight are at risk for OSA, obtain appropriate medical treatment.
Truck Drivers are Required by Law to get Rest to Avoid Fatigue
For these and other reasons, there are truck industry rules and standards that say how long a truck driver can drive or even be at work before the truck driver must get rest. The current rule generally requires that truck drivers operate a truck or bus no more than 10 consecutive hours before resting for minimum of 8 hours. This permits fatigued drivers to spend 16 hours driving in any 24 hours period.
Many times when a truck driver falls asleep behind the wheel and injures or kills someone they were operating their truck in violation of thr truck industry rules and standards. What’s more, most of the time the truck company knew or should have known about the rule violations but let them happen in the pursuit of profit over safety.
The DiCello Law Firm has a strong record of success in litigation involving truck crashes. Our attorneys continue to represent victims and families of victims injured by truck crashes in Ohio and throughout the United States.