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6 things to know about trucker fatigue

Trucker fatigue is a huge problem that puts everyone on the roads in danger. People who suffer injuries in semi truck crashes can opt to seek compensation for their injuries. Determining the cause of the crash is crucial. When the cause is fatigue, knowing what brought on the fatigue is useful.

#1: Sleep debt is an issue

Not getting enough sleep can lead to fatigue. The effect of lack of sleep is cumulative. A trucker who goes too many nights without quality sleep can suffer from sleep debt. This means that a trucker is more likely to suffer fatigue more quickly toward the end of a long haul that lasts several days.

#2: Hours of Service regulations help to reduce fatigue

Federal regulations aim to keep truckers from becoming too fatigued to drive safely. Hours of Service regulations outline how many hours a trucker can drive per shift and per revolving week. It also outlines how rest breaks and sleep hours are handled. Truckers who haul goods can drive up to 11 hours after having at least 10 consecutive hours off duty. Truckers who carry people can drive up to 10 hours after having at least eight hours of sleep. Hours of service also include stipulations about non-driving work hours. For example, a property carrier can't drive past the 14th hour after coming on duty.

#3: Work conditions might cause fatigue

Work conditions, including a hot and stuffy cab, driving on familiar roads and the weather can all cause fatigue. Taking steps to reduce the fatigue might be difficult in these situations. Truckers must make an effort to avoid driving fatigued.

#4: Medical conditions might cause fatigue

Medical conditions, including diabetes and sleep apnea, can lead to fatigue. Being overweight and out of shape can make the fatigue worse.

#5: Schedules might cause fatigue

A tight work schedule can lead to trucker fatigue. Stress can increase it, too. When a schedule is too tight, a trucker might opt to try to push through fatigue to meet a deadline. This might prove deadly if the trucker is involved in an accident that claims the life of another person.

#6: The cause of fatigue is important in injury claims

The cause of fatigue is important when you file a claim for a semi crash. The cause lets you know whom to hold liable. For example, when scheduling is to blame, the trucking company might be liable. If the trucker spent too much time partying the night before coming into service, the trucker might be liable.

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Brian Jensen

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