Trucking accidents are one of the leading causes of death and serious bodily injury on Texas roadways. The high rate of injuries associated with trucking accidents is due to the enormous size and force generated by commercial trucks. In 2015 alone, 1,760 traffic fatalities involving trucks happened in Texas. This number was higher than any other state for that year.
The effects of driving while under the influence of drugs and alcohol have been well-chronicled. Fatigued driving is just as likely a cause for motor vehicle accidents as drinking and driving. However, fewer drivers understand the dangers of driving a vehicle without enough sleep. A person operating a motor vehicle after 24 hours of no sleep is equivalent to driving while past the legal blood alcohol limit in all 50 states.
Fatigue driving causes
Truck drivers who spend at least 10 hours someplace other than behind the wheel of their rig can drive for 11 hours without legally needing to rest again. However, there are factors other than rest and sleep that can contribute to driver fatigue.
- Illness – Truck drivers are not unlike everyone else in that their bodies crave rest after an illness. The schedule maintained by a truck driver does not often lend itself to the extra sleep needed to recuperate from minor illnesses.
- Medication – Truck drivers should exercise caution with medicines that may cause them to become drowsy.
- Drinking – Drivers may believe that if enough hours exist between the time they take a drink and the time they start driving, no harm is possible. The truth is alcohol consumption can cause fatigue long after the other effects of drinking go away.
- Unusual shifts – Truck drivers always spend long hours on the road. When a shift change occurs and changes when the driver performs their duties, however, the result can be increased fatigue for the driver.
Accidents that involve large trucks are life-threatening events that often result in serious injuries. A personal injury attorney may prove useful in helping motorists secure the compensation they need to recover from these injuries.