Drivers should never operate vehicles when they’re too tired to do so safely. For professional drivers, including truckers, this poses a conundrum. They need to drive to get paid, but they aren’t in the shape to do that. Add in the deadlines that the trucking companies place on them and you can see why some truckers try to push through the fatigue.
There are no valid reasons to justify putting lives in danger because of fatigued driving. This is a preventable cause of wrecks, so anyone behind the wheel of a vehicle should ensure they get ample rest before they drive and stop when they feel fatigued.
Lack of sleep can cause fatigue
They key to beating fatigue isn’t always getting more sleep. It’s getting quality sleep. People who have to sleep when they’d normally be awake and drive when they’d normally be asleep are at an increased risk because of the impact on the circadian rhythm.
People who have to drive at night usually have a reduced quality of sleep. They must ensure that they are paying close attention to how they feel so they can stop and get rest so they don’t end up causing a crash. These truckers are also at an increased risk of highway hypnosis, which occurs when the oncoming lights hypnotize the driver, because they are driving at night.
Another thing to think about is that sleep debt can also cause drivers to become fatigued when they drive. This occurs when the lack of sleep builds up and the time before the trucker begins to become fatigued is shorter than normal. Sleep debt is why truckers who are at the end of a long work week might suffer from fatigue faster than they do at the start of it.
Other issues can lead to problems
Truckers who drive on familiar roads and those who have a hot cab might become fatigued faster than other drivers. Monotonous driving is another issue that can cause a trucker to lose focus when they drive.
Stress and medical issues can also cause problems for truckers. Stress can cause the body to expend more energy on simple tasks. Medical conditions like sleep apnea and diabetes can also lead to fatigue. All of these types of issues should be addressed quickly so that the trucker can drive safely.
For the victims of these semitruck crashes, learning that fatigue is the cause can be disheartening. They might opt to seek compensation for the financial damages associated with the wreck by holding the liable parties accountable in a civil lawsuit.