Truck driver fatigue is the exhausted feeling experienced by a driver when behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle. Truck drivers are required to work unbelievably long hours with demanding schedules combined with impossible deadlines. This is part of the requirements and they know this before accepting the job. There are laws now inhibiting long driving hours but yet, accidents still occur. We do not have computers driving these trucks yet so we must continue to cope with the status quo.

Fatigue Affects Motor Control and Concentration

As a not surprising consequence, truck driver fatigues sets in, one of the main causes of truck accidents in the United States. Truck driver fatigue seriously compromises the judgment of an individual while operating a commercial motor vehicle. It is a particularly dangerous condition because it impairs a driver’s ability to assess his/her own fatigue level. And also because these vehicles are huge.

How Fatigue Sets In

Sleep deprivation is another condition that truck drivers are prone to, because they often stay awake for longer than the customary 16 to 17 hours. Sleep deprivation not only leads to diminished performance and slow reflexes but adds to driver fatigue. Sleep deprivation tends to accumulate the longer the driver goes without adequate sleep. This upsets the individual’s natural circadian rhythm. Sometimes breaking the normal sleep pattern into two shorter periods, instead of one extended normal sleep period, often tends to exacerbate the position and adds to the sleep deficit.

Time Spent Driving is not the Only Factor

Data collected by various administrative bodies over a four year period concludes that 8.15 percent of all truck-related accidents were caused by driver fatigue. The vast majority of fatigue-related accidents involved males. During the study period, 82% of drivers in fatigue-related accidents were men. Truck driver fatigue is not merely connected to the time spent driving, but is also a function of several other sleep-related issues.

Helping Yourself

If you know of anyone who is a victim of a truck accident caused possibly because truck driver fatigue, you should get in touch with a committed and experienced truck accident lawyer. A truck injury lawyer would guide the victim through the minefield of negotiating with insurance companies to attain the compensation the victim deserves. In fact it is better to consult with an accident attorney before meeting with the insurance adjustor for a myriad of reasons.