What are the signs of truck driver fatigue?

A previous post on this blog talked about how, for truckers and other commercial vehicle firms that are subject to them, federal regulations attempt to prevent driver fatigue among commercial operators by imposing specific requirements on how long a driver can be on the road before stopping to take an extended rest.

Unfortunately, too many trucking companies create a culture in which these rules are winked at or even outright ignored, as the big push in those businesses is greater profit by making more and faster deliveries, even at the expense of the public’s safety. Moreover, the rules cannot stop all driver fatigue.

It is therefore important for the residents of the Tampa area and other Floridians, particularly if they or a loved one has been in an accident involving a commercial vehicle, to recognize the visible signs of driver fatigue. Following an accident, a trucker or commercial driver is rarely going to outright admit to being too tired to drive, and so remembering how the driver was maneuvering his or her vehicle beforehand can be important.

As mentioned, a fatigued driver can easily be confused with a drunk or drugged driver. This is not surprising since a driver who has been on the road for 18 hours or more with no sleep is the same as having .08 blood alcohol content. A fatigued driver may struggle to stay in his or her lane or maintain a consistent speed while traveling.

Also, it is important for an accident victim to find out as much as they can about what the driver was doing inside his or her vehicle as well. In addition to knowing the obvious question of how much sleep the driver had, the victim will want to know what they had eaten, whether they had taken any prescription medicine and whether or not they had been yawning frequently or having to rub their eyes.

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Imagine you are driving along minding your own business when a semi hits a median after crossing three lanes of traffic, blocking your lane. Unable to stop in time, you strike the truck’s cab with your much smaller vehicle. We don’t have to imagine that scenario because one of our clients lived it. Though he was unable to walk away from the crash without injury, we were able to help him walk away from the incident with a settlement that will make things easier for him and his family.