How Dangerous Is Driver Fatigue?

Fatigue can affect anyone at some point in their life, possibly consistently, if a healthy amount of sleep is unachievable. Professionals who spend a great deal behind the wheel, such as truck drivers, experience driver fatigue more often if they pull long hours. 

This is a risk not only for their safety, but also a huge safety risk for other drivers on the road. 

If you have recently been involved with a truck driver and suspect driver fatigue was the cause, you should exercise your legal rights by speaking with an attorney. Here’s how a Port St. Lucie Truck Accident Lawyer can help you with your claim. 

What Is Driver Fatigue?

Driver Fatigue, defined by the CDC, can result in drivers who do not get enough sleep or quality sleep. If a truck driver has not had enough time to sleep or rest while operating their vehicles, it can significantly impact their driving performance and injure those they share the road with. 

Most fleet companies have found ways to try and prevent driver fatigue by utilizing high-tech telematics systems that include alerts to notify drivers of possible drowsiness. Truck drivers that face long periods of monotonous driving should be prepared to experience driver fatigue and establish a plan to pull over and rest if the route begins to feel exceptionally long. 

What Are the Causes of Driver Fatigue?

There are several main causes of driver fatigue in truck drivers. Below is a list of possible reasons why a professional may experience driver fatigue at some point in their life:

  • Long work hours 
  • Early mornings or late nights
  • Not having adequate quality of rest or sleep
  • Long periods of driving with minimal breaks
  • Sleep disorders or medications that cause drowsiness
  • Falling asleep at the wheel

Some truck drivers have exceptionally long routes spanning across several states. While this is no excuse, it makes sense why drivers can experience fatigue. Nevertheless, truck drivers should always pull over and rest as soon as they begin feeling worn out. 

The Dangers of Driver Fatigue

When truck drivers begin falling asleep as they drive, they start losing the ability to function as they normally should if they had the proper rest to replenish their energy. 

There are significant dangers that can come from driver fatigue if truck drivers are not careful. In 2019, the NHTSA reported that 697 deaths occurred from accidents pertaining to driver fatigue. Additionally, the CDC reports that 1 in 25 adults have a problem with falling asleep behind the wheel. 

The dangers of driver fatigue can strike at any time with any driver, not only truck drivers, and a collision could be on the horizon if individuals are not careful. Port St. Lucie, Florida, is a busy area with many residents, so roads are consistently packed with drivers in the area. 

Any wreck can cause significant physical and mental damage for all parties involved. In fact, there are approximately 1.35 million deaths per year from auto accidents. 

Families can also be significantly impacted by auto accidents, whether it results in a death or a severe alteration to quality of life. Since driver fatigue can be prevented, it’s important to gauge whether you feel fully capable of handling an automobile before getting behind the wheel so you can be sure everyone on the road is protected and safe, including yourself. 

How To Prevent Driver Fatigue

Driver fatigue can be easily prevented. For truck drivers, most eighteen-wheelers have a cab or bed behind the driver with a small bed and place to sleep for long drives. If you are a professional that’s been driving for a while and still have miles to cover on your route, make a plan to stop at the next rest area for truckers or at least pull over in a safe spot for the night to rest.

The same applies to other drivers: If you are traveling at night and start dozing off, you can take action. Depending on where you are traveling to and how far you have left until you reach your destination, you could either:

  • Stop at a gas station or restaurant for a break
  • Find the nearest hotel to rest for the night
  • Call a friend or relative to pick you up
  • Decide to wait until the next day before taking your trip

Filing A Claim

If your accident happened in Florida, you will first be required to file a claim with your insurance company. You will need to file for PIP coverage to help with any medical bills and lost wages from time off work, but you may also be able to file a lawsuit. 

Filing a lawsuit against a truck driver may entail the expertise of a Port St. Lucie Truck Accident Lawyer. These cases can become complex since you will likely sue the trucking company. If that’s the case, there will need to be established proof that the managers of the company acted negligently, resulting in the accident. 

You could possibly also file your claim specifically against the driver if the driver failed to correctly operate the vehicle with reasonable care in order to prevent the accident. 

To boost your chances at a favorable case, remember to take photos of the scene, your vehicle, and the truck for your lawyer to review. Your attorney can help give you the best indication on what to do throughout the legal process after reviewing all the relevant evidence.

In An Accident Involving Driver Fatigue? Here’s How We Can Help

You do not need to worry if you are not familiar with Florida’s statute of limitations. The attorneys at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers are experts in the field and have the knowledge to best guide you in the steps of filing your claim. 

A fatigued driver should never be able to operate a vehicle at the risk it puts everyone else on the road. If you’ve been involved in an accident with a suspected fatigued driver, we would like to help. 

Our firm is highly awarded and acclaimed. We’ve helped thousands of residents in the area seek compensation for their accumulated damages.

To begin, schedule a no-obligation free consultation at a time that’s convenient for you. Then, you can speak with one of our attorneys in-depth about your claim and seeking the compensation that you deserve. If you decide to move forward, we will begin working on your case immediately. 

You can schedule your consultation by calling (561) 800-8000 or by filling out our online case evaluation form. 

Contact us today to get started with your claim.

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