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The hazards of truck driver fatigue

On Behalf of | Sep 11, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Truck drivers operating heavy vehicles in Massachusetts could feel tired even from a routine work week. Even a mild feeling of fatigue brings with it dangers, as tiredness can affect how someone perceives things or reacts. When driving a massive tractor-trailer, the potential to inflict enormous harm and damage in a collision is significant. Therefore, drivers should be aware of the risks associated with driving fatigued.

Fatigued truck driver dangers

State and federal regulations put an end to the practice of drivers taking to the roads for extensive hours without breaks. Under the law, drivers can only operate tractor-trailers for a specified amount of hours per day before taking a mandatory break. Unfortunately, some drivers violate these restrictions, which could make them liable if they cause an accident. Trucking companies may not keep accurate logs of driver hours, which may open them up to liability claims.

However, a driver could still suffer from fatigue even when following regulations. Working nights or split shifts could disrupt sleep patterns, leading to fatigue. There are other reasons why a driver may feel tired, which could make operating a tractor-trailer risky.

Driver fatigue causes and risks

Everything from the flu to driver intoxication may lead to fatigue. When someone is exhausted, they might not notice things on the road or make mistakes. For example, a tired and distracted driver might not check a blind spot before changing lanes, leading to an accident. A negligence claim may follow motor vehicle accidents caused by a driver’s negligence.

Victims who suffer harm in an accident could file a civil lawsuit to recover compensation. Some may seek punitive damages depending on how reckless the driver was.