Fatigue can be a major problem for truck drivers in Massachusetts. Working long hours without rest, getting poor sleep and being under work-related stress can all contribute to truck driver fatigue.
The statistics on truck driver fatigue
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, fatigue was involved in 20% of truck accidents that occurred in 2015. While it is impossible to measure levels of fatigue exactly, it is no secret that truck drivers often suffer from a lack of sleep.
Truck traffic on busy freeways often scares novice drivers. However, these crowded roadways are statistically less dangerous than empty, rural roads. The NTSB found that 60 percent of fatal motor vehicle accidents involving trucks happen on rural roads. This means that factors other than heavy traffic were likely to blame.
How fatigue impacts driving
Tired drivers suffer from many of the same impairments as drunk drivers. They have difficulty processing information quickly, which makes their reaction times much slower. While driving a large truck on a hazardous roadway, it’s vital for a driver to be awake, alert and capable of making split-second decisions.
Recommended hours of sleep
The National Sleep Foundation advises that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. Since truck drivers sometimes spend 10 hours behind the wheel every day, this doesn’t leave a lot of time in between sleep and work. However, being safe on long cross-country drives is essential.
Have you been injured in a truck accident?
Truck accident injuries can be devastating, especially for the occupants of much smaller passenger cars. If you were injured in an accident involving a large commercial truck, you may be able to pursue financial compensation for your injuries.