Fatigue is a major cause of accidents every year. Nationwide, over 100,000 accidents each year are caused by driver fatigue, according to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA reports that 13 percent of all truck fatalities and 28 percent of single-driver commercial vehicle accidents involve fatigue. Companies are working to prevent this problem among truckers.
Truckers are particularly vulnerable to the effects of fatigue, and many believe that feeling tired is normal. Some drivers are so tired that they may lapse into “micro-naps” and involuntarily fall asleep for up to 15 seconds.
Some companies are using technology to help prevent truck accidents. One product uses hours-of-service data to predict whether a driver could be at risk for falling asleep at the wheel.
Fatigue is caused by many factors besides working long hours, including changes in a driver’s normal shift. It is important for managers to take into account any factor that could affect fatigue, such as a family emergency over the weekend, and intervene when a driver may be unsafe to drive before an accident occurs.
Truck accidents are a common cause of permanent disability. Individuals who have been injured in a truck accident may benefit from consulting a personal injury attorney. In cases that involve commercial vehicles, the company that employed the driver may be held liable. The exception to that rule is if the truck driver was not engaged in work activities, which would include driving a company vehicle to work.
A Costa Mesa truck accident injury compensation law firm may be able to help clients prove that the truck driver was responsible for the accident. An attorney may be able to request access to company records that may show that the driver was working long hours. Long hours, shift changes and other factors may help a plaintiff show that the driver was too tired to be driving.