The Large Truck Crash Causation Study, conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, found that truck driver fatigue played a role in 13 percent of truck accidents during the study period. Since the study’s authoring nearly 20 years ago, several safety measures have been put in place to try and mitigate truck driver fatigue and the grave dangers it poses to other motorists. Tragically, despite these efforts, driver fatigue has not gone away. Instead, it may have gotten worse.
Nearly 65 percent of truck drivers self-report having insomnia with many reporting they average only around five hours of sleep a day. And, while science has come to no clear consensus on how much sleep people need, this much is known: mental processing, reaction time, and impulse control in people who have been awake for 18 hours is similar to those with a BAC of .08%.
Drowsy Driving Awareness Month
November is Drowsy Driving Awareness Month and a good time to reflect on your sleep and driving behaviors. It’s also an excellent time to consider the driving behaviors of others and to make adjustments that can help keep you and your loved ones safe.
When driving around large trucks, consider the following:
- If you cannot see the driver in the rearview of the truck’s cab, they cannot see you
- Trucks cannot slow or stop as quickly as passenger vehicles
- Trucks make wide turns and need extra space
You can further help protect yourself by getting enough sleep, staying sober, and paying attention to the road. Maneuver safely around large trucks, passing only when appropriate, and never attempting to squeeze in between or in front of large commercial vehicles.
Truck accidents typically result in severe or fatal injuries to the occupants of smaller vehicles. Be careful around trucks to help ensure you do not become a victim.
Have You Been Injured?
When you are injured in a truck accident, you need an attorney on your side who can determine if factors, such as fatigue, played a role in your crash. The truck accident lawyers at Kelleher Law have years of experience investigating these accidents to identify all liable parties and help victims get justice.