It seems that over the years, there has been a major focus on reducing accidents caused by those driving under the influence. Although that is a very important issue to tackle in Oklahoma, there is another concern that tends to take a back seat to it: truck drivers causing major accidents due to fatigue. Due to the massive size of commercial trucks, even the slowest speeds can cause major damages and, in some cases, fatalities. Read on to learn further about this growing issue in the trucking industry.
What leads to driver fatigue?
According to federal and state laws, truck drivers can only drive for a certain number of hours. Lawmakers created these regulations to help reduce the number of motor vehicle accidents as well as protect the rights of the drivers. Unfortunately, not every company follows these laws. In fact, there have been reports of drivers being pressured or outright threatened to get loads to their destination as soon as possible. Not wanting to lose their jobs, they comply. Other factors that contribute to fatigue include:
- Fighting through an illness
- Being under the influence of medication
Consequences of driving while fatigued
As drivers continue to become more and more fatigued, many of the skills they need to drive safely on the road begin to disappear. In fact, it is those same effects that lead to more dangerous behaviors. For example, as it becomes harder to concentrate on the road, drivers will begin to mess around with their radios and phones, causing further distractions. However, even if they are trying their hardest to concentrate, other skills begin to deteriorate, such as the ability to make quick decisions. In many cases, it is that issue that leads to a truck rear-ending another vehicle and causing the driver and passengers to get injured.
If you have been involved in an accident with a truck and sustained injuries, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. This step is important as negotiating with trucking companies is vastly different than dealing with a single independent driver.