June 6, 2018
Tags: Oil Rig Accident Lawyer
Anyone who has taken a road trip knows that driving for long periods of time can be exhausting. Even though you are sedentary in the driver’s seat, staying focused on the often monotonous road can cause fatigue. Commercial truck drivers travel hundreds of miles as part of their daily job, making fatigue a major concern in the industry. When a truck driver loses focus or falls asleep behind the wheel, truck accidents involving serious injuries and fatalities often result.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that 13 percent of commercial drivers involved in accidents were fatigued at the time. The actual percentage is likely higher, because of underreporting or non-discovery of fatigue.
To combat fatigued driving, the FMCSA has set strict hours-of-service limits to prevent drivers from staying on the road too long and becoming fatigued. However, long hours are not the only factor that causes fatigue in truck drivers. Other factors including stress, depression, thyroid disorders, and nutritional deficiencies can also cause fatigue. One major concern in the trucking industry is sleep disorders that cause fatigue during the day.
Three different sleep disorders commonly cause fatigue. When undiagnosed and/or untreated, these sleep disorders may lead to fatigued driving.
If a truck driver knows he or she has a sleep disorder and fails to seek treatment, that driver may be held liable if their fatigue causes injuries to others on the road.