While the trucking industry was always a challenging one — strict deadlines, cross country travel, long hours, government regulations — driver shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic has placed even more pressure on those working in the field. As the pressure increases for existing drivers to deliver goods across the nation, there is an increased risk of truck driver fatigue as they struggle to meet deadlines. While residents in Nevada and those living across the United States need trucks to deliver products to our stores in order to have our day-to-day needs met, it is dangerous to rush drivers or propose unrealistic timelines. A tired truck driver can change lives in an instant if a truck accident occurs.
Causes of Truck Driver Fatigue
There are several reasons for truck driver fatigue, including a simple lack of sleep just due to driving long hours. And though there are advocates pushing for more autonomous trucks on America’s roads, this change does not fix the problem of human drivers getting behind the wheel with too little sleep. National statistical estimates show an increasing trend of truck driving accidents over the past decade in the U.S. Considering the significant difference between a commercial truck and a passenger vehicle, a truck accident can result in serious and permanent injuries, significant property damage, and even death. Truck driver fatigue, however, is not always due to lack of sleep. Below are some of the most common causes of fatigued driving among truck drivers:
- Medications: Sometimes medications – prescribed, legal, or illicit – cause a truck driver’s drowsiness, which can come out in toxicology reports after a truck accident. Such a scenario can place the blame on the trucking company because of negligence. And even though marijuana has been legalized, it is still illegal for truck drivers to be under the influence of this drug. When a truck driver goes behind the wheel after consuming drugs, the increased risk of getting involved in a deadly accident is significant.
- Medical conditions: Whether these conditions are known or unknown, may result in truck driver fatigue. While the tiredness caused by medical conditions does not involve the same level of negligence as the consumption of drugs or alcohol, truck drivers must still exercise good judgment when deciding whether to go on the road. A trucking company may be held responsible if it failed to conduct driver assessments prior to permitting its drivers to drive long distances.
- Drunk Driving: when a truck driver gets behind the wheel after consuming alcoholic beverages poses a significant risk for both the drier and others on the road. A driver may consume alcohol after stopping at a restaurant to eat while on the road. Depending on the circumstances, both the driver and their employer could be held responsible.
Contact a Las Vegas Truck Accident Attorney
When a truck driver gets behind the wheel while tired, the consequences can be costly at best and deadly at worst. If you or someone you care about has been involved in a Las Vegas truck accident, there may be a cause for pursuing litigation to recover compensation for damages incurred, depending on the circumstances. The attorneys at H&P Law have been helping accident victims in Las Vegas and throughout Nevada for years. Let our attorneys help you navigate the litigation process. Contact H&P Law today to discuss your case and take action.