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Why is truck driver fatigue so dangerous?

On Behalf of | Aug 31, 2022 | Truck Accidents

Truck drivers have a huge responsibility in handling massive loads of cargo. However, many of them suffer from fatigue while working, which puts everyone on Kansas roads at risk. Truck driver fatigue is a danger for many reasons.

Causes of truck driver fatigue

A truck driver can become fatigued for a variety of reasons. Typically, truckers work extra long hours to get to their destinations. Although they are required by law to receive breaks for meals and rest, they often skip them. Sometimes, it’s because their employer insists that they continue driving to make it to their destination by a specific time.

Poor sleep can lead to a truck driver becoming fatigued while working. In some cases, this might be due to their work itself if they go past their normal number of hours. Other times, the individual might suffer from a sleep disorder such as narcolepsy or sleep apnea, which can lead to fatigued driving.

Medications and illnesses can also cause truckers to become fatigued. Unfortunately, some truck drivers may also be intoxicated while working, posing serious dangers.

Impacts of truck driver fatigue

If a truck driver is fatigued while operating their truck, the effects are similar to driving under the influence and having a blood alcohol concentration over the legal limit. The parts of the driver’s brain that are meant to be on full alert are impaired with fatigued driving. Reaction time, judgment and coordination are all compromised, which can rapidly lead to a truck accident.

When a trucker begins to drift off while working, the truck can veer into the wrong lane and collide with another vehicle. The truck driver often doesn’t have enough time to brake or steer out of the way if they suddenly become alert again. They could run through red lights and stop signs and crash.