When truck drivers perform long haul into and throughout California, they may suffer from fatigue. A tired truck driver could run into trouble staying alert behind the wheel, increasing the risks of collisions. Considering the mass and weight of these vehicles, a drowsy truck driver could inflict serious damage.
Fatigue and truck drivers
A driver does not have to outright fall asleep at the wheel to cause an accident. A tired truck driver could suffer from concentration lapses and delayed reactions. Even a mild reduction in reflexes or concentration could result in an otherwise avoidable accident. Remember that a tractor-trailer requires a significant braking distance to stop. Fatigue may undermine a driver’s ability to hit the brakes in time to avoid a crash.
State and federal laws regulate mandatory breaks for drivers. Drivers or trucking companies disregarding these rules could find themselves in legal trouble.
However, driving too many hours isn’t the only reason for fatigue. A driver could follow the required break schedule but work another job on their day off, adding to overall tiredness and burnout. Driving at odd hours might also cause problems as could feeling sick or taking medication for a cold or flu bug.
Fatigue and liability
Truck drivers and trucking companies whose actions contribute to a collision could be held liable for any injuries or property damage inflicted. Truck accidents resulting from a driver being too tired to operate the vehicle may lead to civil lawsuits seeking substantial compensation or punitive damages.
An insurance settlement may cover liability claims resulting from reckless driving or other negligence that cause a crash. Fatigued driving could be the underlying issue contributing to negligence behind the wheel. Unfortunately, such negligence may cause catastrophic injuries or death.