Truck Driver Fatigue is a Serious Danger on Texas Roads
Fatigue is a leading cause of truck accidents. According to a Large Truck Crash Causation Study by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), up to 13% of commercial truck drivers who experience an accident are fatigued at the time of the incident.
Fatigued Truck Drivers Are at Risk for Truck Accidents:
Truck driver fatigue can result from lack of sleep, long hours of driving/working, physical exertion, mental exertion, or strenuous activities. All these situations easily occur in the everyday routine of the average truck driver. While a significant portion of truck drivers involved in an accident are fatigued, the dangers of fatigue or drowsy driving are not limited to truck drivers.
Drowsy Driving is a Danger for All Texas Drivers:
Any tired driver is more likely to be in a car accident. The risks are not limited to truck accidents and truck drivers. Drowsy driving caused 72,000 crashes and 44,000 injuries in 2013 (one of the last years with comprehensive data available). The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that these numbers have significantly increased in recent years.
Drowsy Driving Increases the Risk of Truck Accidents and Car Accidents:
The risks associated with drowsy driving apply to both commercial truck drivers and regular drivers. However, according to the CDC, commercial truck drivers are much more likely to drive tired than other drivers. The statistics are startling, but they may not even represent the full spectrum of the issue. While the cause of many truck accidents are already determined to be drowsy driving, still more are not officially counted for published reports and data, even though fatigue was a contributing factor. Fatigue as a contributing factor is often overlooked when there is a more visible cause like a collision, an overturned semi-truck, a cargo spill, a jack-knifed trailer truck, etc.
The Danger of Big Rig Accidents: Truck Accident Injuries Are Typically More Severe
While the number of truck accidents and truck accident injuries may not seem large compared to the number of total vehicle accidents, there is one significant difference. Truck accidents pose a greater risk to life, limb, and property because big rigs are significantly larger and heavier than the average motor vehicle. Commercial trucks can weigh up to 80,000 pounds. Even commercial vehicles designated as “light” can weigh close to 10,000 pounds, twice as heavy as a typical car. In addition to the significant damage likely to result from the impact of a significantly larger vehicle, big rig accidents also tend to cause traffic pile-ups and debris that can cause other accidents.
The Effects of Fatigue on Driver Capabilities:
Drowsy driving or driver fatigue negatively affects many normal functions drivers depend on to drive safely, such as vision, coordination, judgment, and reaction time. Additionally, tired drivers are in danger of falling asleep at the wheel and veering into oncoming traffic, forgetting to check their blind spot before changing lanes, etc. When the tired driver is operating a large commercial vehicle, these seemingly small oversights can quickly escalate into major situations involving multiple vehicles. For instance, if a big rig driver forgets to check their blind spot before changing lanes, the truck’s blind spot is likely extensive, and a side-swipe could probably occur.
If you’ve been in a Texas truck accident and need help seeking compensation for your injuries, don’t wait! Get in touch with Carrollton’s Hudson Law Firm immediately. We put Personal back into Personal Injury Law.