Truck drivers in California and across the nation have a demanding job. The trucking industry is utilized to transport goods and shipments within the state, between states or across the country. Because companies and individuals seek fast deliveries, this can put a strain on trucking companies and truckers. Working long hours and back-to-back shifts for days at a time can impact the driver’s health and sleep pattern. What is most concerning is when a fatigued driver is behind the wheel. Driving while tired is not only dangerous but also the cause of numerous truck accidents each year.
We all get tired. While this might be on occasion for some, when an individual works long hours and into the night, he or she is more prone to being drowsy. This can be problematic in any field of work; however, for those that drive, like truck drivers, this can lead to serious and fatal accidents.
Impact on truck drivers
Data collected from 2009 to 2019 indicated that the number of truck-involved fatalities increased by 50%. The causal factors that topped the list for these collisions were drowsy and distracted driving. While drowsy driving is described as fatigue like behaviors and dangers, distracted driving is described as having manual, visual and cognitive distractions. Although these can be distinct behaviors, they can also be interrelated.
Drowsiness can be distracting, as it alters one’s alertness and response rate. Research suggests that being awake for 24 hours straight is comparative to a BAC of 0.1%, which is above the legal limit. This also illustrates the dangers it can cause on the roadways. Thus, in the event of a truck accident, it is important to consider drowsiness being a causal factor.
The aftermath of a truck accident can be gruesome. Victims could suffer serious or even fatal injuries. As a result, the victim and their loved ones could suffer significant damages. As a means to address these losses and hold a negligent truck driver or trucking company accountable, a civil action could be filed. A personal injury or wrongful death action could help with liability and with the recovery of compensation.