Federal and Michigan state laws hold truck drivers and their companies to high road safety standards. They have a specific number of hours they can work within 24 hours and must take mandatory breaks after driving for a certain amount of time. Additionally, their Breathalyzer test limit is half that of regular drivers. However, despite these regulations, truck driver fatigue remains a major concern on the roads. The good news is that it is preventable, and if, by bad luck, an accident occurs as a result, there are ways to mitigate the damage.
The main causes of truck driver fatigue
You can generally group what causes truck driver fatigue into three categories: lifestyle, work conditions and external factors. For instance, bad eating habits, little exercise and a lack of sleep would qualify as lifestyle conditions that can contribute to fatigue on the road.
Work-related causes include long working hours, lack of regular breaks and sleep disruptions due to the nature of the job. Employers can also contribute to driver fatigue by pressuring them with tight deadlines, unrealistic schedules and inadequate training. Lastly, external factors, such as heavy traffic, extreme weather conditions and roadwork, can also cause fatigue because they require extra attention and energy to navigate safely.
Effects of fatigue
Fatigue, in any facet of life, reduces a person’s attention span and reaction times. If anything out of the blue happens on the road, drivers who aren’t fatigued can make quick decisions to avoid causing motor vehicle accidents. However, a drowsy truck driver may not react with the precision and speed needed to avoid a catastrophe.
Fatigue also impairs vision. When your eyes are fighting to stay open, it affects the quality and clarity of what you see on the road.
Likely injuries in case of an accident
Some potential injuries include broken bones, head and brain trauma, spinal cord injuries, bladder injuries, and whiplash. On top of that, these accidents can also cause significant property damage and financial loss for both parties involved.
Truck driver fatigue is a pressing issue that needs consistent attention and effort to be properly addressed. In case of an accident, it is important to remember that Michigan is a no-fault state for auto accidents, meaning that both parties’ insurance companies will cover the damages no matter who is at fault. But if the damage is big enough, you could pursue legal action to get appropriate compensation for your injuries.