Everyone knows that driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in Indiana. However, not as many people think about how dangerous it is to drive while fatigued. When the driver of a large commercial truck is tired, it is a huge risk to everyone on the road.
Fatigued driving is like drunk driving
Although there’s no chemical test to determine how tired a driver is, driving while fatigued is still very close to drunk driving. Truck drivers that don’t get adequate sleep have slower reaction times, and they risk causing truck accidents by falling asleep at the wheel.
If a driver stays awake for 24 hours or more, his or her cognitive functioning is the same as a person with a 0.1% blood alcohol content. To put that in perspective, the legal limit is 0.08%.
Common causes of truck driver fatigue
Unfortunately, commercial truck driving can create the perfect storm for fatigued driving. Truck drivers are expected to work long, sometimes unusual, hours, and they typically get paid by the mile. It can also be difficult to get a good night’s sleep and nutritious meals while on the road. Some common causes of truck driver fatigue include:
• Lack of sleep
• Colds and the flu
• Medication use
• Unusual hours
One of the most avoidable causes of fatigue is inebriation. However, half of all truck drivers admit that they consume alcohol. The U.S. has been found to have the highest rate of alcohol use among truck drivers.
Liability for truck accidents
When a fatigued truck driver causes an accident, both the truck driver and his or her employer could be liable for the accident. In some cases, trucking companies ignore federal hours-of-service regulations, which can be dangerous. If you were injured in a truck accident, you may be able to seek financial compensation with a personal injury claim.