Drowsy driving can be very dangerous. A person needs complete control of their physical and mental faculties to be able to operate a vehicle safely, and being tired or fatigued can affect their ability to see what is happening on the road around them and react to other vehicles or changing conditions. This can be especially dangerous for truck drivers, and driver fatigue is a factor that leads to far too many truck accidents.
Issues That Can Cause a Truck Driver to Be Too Drowsy to Drive Safely
The trucking industry is focused on delivering cargo to its destination as quickly as possible. Drivers are expected to spend long hours on the road, and they are sometimes encouraged by their employers to exceed the allowed hours of operation. However, even when drivers abide by the rules and regulations, driving the correct number of hours and taking breaks when required, they can still become tired after a long shift of driving. This is especially true for drivers who are driving at unusual hours, since truck accidents are more likely to occur at night.
Drivers may also become drowsy due to medical issues or other factors that affect their ability to get enough sleep. A person with sleep apnea may spend enough time sleeping, but the poor quality of their sleep may cause them to become tired more quickly. Quality of sleep can also be affected by the use of alcohol or caffeine, and a person may struggle to fall asleep if they are not receiving the proper nutrition or are not drinking enough water to stay fully hydrated.
Drug and alcohol use is another reason that truck drivers experience fatigue. If a person drives after drinking alcohol, this will not only affect their ability to control their vehicle, but it will make them more likely to become drowsy or fall asleep behind the wheel. The use of controlled substances, including prescription medications such as opioids, can also lead to driver fatigue, especially if they are combined with alcohol. Certain types of medicines used to treat colds or allergies can also cause drowsiness.
To prevent truck accidents from occurring, trucking companies should encourage safe practices by their drivers, making sure they avoid activities that could cause them to become too tired to drive safely. Drivers should also be encouraged to take breaks or naps when needed and get proper sleep in between driving shifts.
Contact Our Peoria Truck Accident Attorneys
At Kanoski Bresney, we provide legal help for people who have been injured in truck accidents. We can investigate an accident and review records such as driving logs to determine whether a driver was fatigued or whether a trucking company encouraged them to act unsafely. We will fight to make sure victims receive the compensation they need and deserve. Contact our Bloomington, IL truck accident lawyers at 888-826-8682 to schedule a complimentary consultation today.