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Why are fatigued truck drivers so dangerous?

On Behalf of | May 16, 2023 | Truck Accidents |

Fatigue is a significant risk factor for truck drivers, posing serious dangers to both themselves and other road users. Due to the size and weight of commercial trucks, the consequences of fatigued driving can be catastrophic. 

Unfortunately, driving a truck is a physically and mentally exhausting occupation. As a result, truck operators are often fatigued, which impacts the safety of both drivers themselves and all other road travelers in a myriad of ways. 

Fatigue impairs cognitive function and alertness

Fatigue significantly impairs a truck driver’s cognitive function and alertness. Prolonged periods of driving without adequate rest or sleep can lead to decreased concentration, slower reaction times and impaired decision-making abilities. These cognitive impairments increase the risk of accidents as drivers may fail to perceive hazards, respond appropriately to changing road conditions and make critical judgments. The combination of impaired cognitive function and reduced alertness makes fatigued truck drivers highly susceptible to making errors that can result in devastating accidents.

Fatigue increases the likelihood of traffic violations

Fatigue can also lead to a higher likelihood of truck drivers violating traffic laws. When drivers are fatigued, they may engage in risky behaviors such as speeding, tailgating or running red lights to try to reach their destination faster. They may also make poor judgments when changing lanes or overtaking other vehicles, leading to dangerous maneuvers and increased chances of collisions. 

For these reasons – and more – it is crucial for trucking companies and drivers themselves to prioritize rest and sleep, adhere to regulations regarding hours of service and recognize the dangers associated with fatigued driving. Otherwise, truck operators and fellow travelers may find themselves injured, drowning in expenses and in need of legal guidance in the wake of a crash.