For many Arizona motorists, tractor-trailers are common fixtures that share the roads with them. Many don’t think much about a truck until disaster occurs. Seeing such a huge vehicle suddenly veer aimlessly is terrifying. This is something that can happen when the trucker becomes fatigued.
Truck driver fatigue and accidents
Truck driver fatigue is a danger to anyone who happens to be sharing the road with the truck. If a driver is drowsy while working, it has a similar effect as a person driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Fatigue leads to impairment behind the wheel and an inability to safely operate the truck. If a truck driver has gone over 24 hours without sleep, it’s comparable to a blood alcohol concentration of .10%, which is higher than the legal limit of .08%.
There are already enough risks associated with sharing roads with a truck. The huge vehicles have multiple blind spots that can lead to an accident and serious injuries or deaths. A truck might also have its cargo incorrectly loaded or secured, which can create danger for people in the vehicles behind it. With truck driver fatigue, a loss of control over the truck could easily result in multiple fatalities. The truck could swerve out of one lane and into another into the path of traffic. Fatigue also results in slower reaction time, decreased judgment and a decline in reflexes.
Causes of truck driver fatigue
There are many things that can cause a truck driver to be fatigued. Often, they work long hours without rest. This can increase the risk of a deadly truck crash.
Certain medications can cause drowsiness. DUI also leads to truck driver fatigue.
A truck driver might also become fatigued due to illness or medical emergencies such as a stroke or heart attack.