In recent months, the value of truck drivers has become even more apparent. Put simply, commercial drivers play an important role in delivering essential supplies to consumers around the country. Still, there are not enough truck drivers to keep up with the demands of the modern marketplace.
While the lack of professional drivers certainly jeopardizes the economy, it may also put your life at risk. That is, the limited number of truck drivers must accommodate for the driver shortage. Accordingly, if you sustain a serious injury in a collision with a truck driver, you likely want to investigate whether driver fatigue was a factor.
Drivers must comply with strict rest requirements
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulates trucker drive time. Among other requirements, drivers may only be on the road for a limited number of hours before taking a rest break. There are also limitations on how many hours truckers may drive in a week. If drivers fail to comply with rest requirements, they face significant penalties.
Fatigued driving is extremely dangerous
Professional truck drivers receive extensive training on safely operating commercial vehicles. Still, because drivers are human, they require sleep. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that commercial drivers are more likely to drive with insufficient rest than other motorists. If truck drivers operate trucks while drowsy, they may experience slower reaction times. Sleep deprivation may also interfere with a trucker’s ability to make good decisions.
Medical conditions may worsen matters
A recent study found that nearly 70% of commercial truckers are obese. Obesity, of course, increases a person’s chances of developing type 2 diabetes. This condition, in turn, may cause a driver to experience sleep apnea. If a driver has sleep apnea, he or she may fall asleep behind the wheel. As such, truck drivers must manage sleep-related medical conditions carefully.
A collision with a commercial truck may leave you with lifelong injuries. Fortunately, if the driver caused the accident, you can likely pursue reasonable compensation. Checking whether the trucker had sufficient rest is apt to be an essential part of your injury claim.