Although there are rules in place that require many if not most truckers to take periodic breaks from driving, trucker fatigue is still a very serious, and all too common, problem on the roads of the Tampa area and in other parts of Florida.
One statistic suggests that well over 1 in 10 drivers of commercial vehicles had been suffering fatigue at the time they had a collision while driving. Although not all of these accidents were particularly serious, the statistic shows that it is always simply a matter of time before a tired or otherwise fatigued truck driver causes a serious injury or even a fatality.
It is not surprise that driver fatigue is commonly a factor in commercial vehicle accidents when one considers the effects lack of sleep has on a driver’s body. One study even compared a driver who had been awake for 18 hours or more to a driver who had .08 blood alcohol concentration, and thus, would be legally too drunk to drive in Florida.
However, lack of sleep is not the only cause of truck driver fatigue. Drivers who choose to operate in the overnight hours, especially after midnight, can experience fatigue given the natural rhythms of one’s body, even if they have had enough sleep. The same phenomenon happens in the mid-afternoon.
A truck driver’s medication, even if it is prescribed or over-the-counter, can also contribute to fatigue.
Whatever the reason, it is imperative that truckers and other commercial drivers in this state stay alert and attentive to the road. If they do not, they can cause a serious accident for which they can and should be held financially accountable.