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Long Shifts Can Lead to Dangerous Trucker Fatigue

Law Offices of James M. Curran

The professional drivers who drive semitrucks back and forth across the country have very demanding jobs. They need to deliver their loads regardless of the weather or what happens in traffic. Sometimes, they drive across the country in just a few days to get materials or products where they need to go. 

Unfortunately, long hours at work and multiple days of back-to-back of driving can lead to fatigue and increase a trucker’s risk of causing a crash. Being too drowsy to drive is worrisome enough that the federal government imposes Hours of Service rules to limit how long truckers can drive. 

Why is exhaustion such a serious safety concern for the commercial transportation industry? 

Fatigue Affects the Body Much as Alcohol Does

It may sound strange, but going for too long without sleep can affect driving much like having too much to drink. An exhausted driver has trouble focusing and staying awake. Decision-making will be harder than it usually is for them, and they may also have increased reaction time. 

The longer someone goes without adequate sleep, the greater those impairments become. Federal trucking laws limit drive times in part to protect the public from the risk caused by exhausted drivers. When a driver violates the Hours of Service rules that limit how long they can be at the wheel or their employer demands that they keep driving until they reach their destination, they may put other people on the road at unnecessary risk. 

Learning more about the rules that apply to the trucking industry could help you pursue a claim after a commercial vehicle crash.

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