Commercial drivers must ensure that they are fully prepared to drive before they get behind the wheel of the vehicle. One factor that some drivers might not realize can lead to fatal errors is fatigue. In the previous blog post here, we discussed the case of the bus driver who blamed falling asleep for the crash that killed people. This story is one that highlights the importance of only driving when well-rested.
There are many reasons why a commercial driver might be fatigued. One of the most thought about reasons is lack of sleep; however, this is far from the only reason why drivers might be fatigued. Other reasons can also be present. For a person who is thinking of seeking compensation, the reason for the driver’s fatigue can have an impact on the case.
A trucker might be fatigued because of tight deadlines for loads. This could cause the trucker to try to rush through their miles while stressed. All of this together can lead to significant fatigue. Drivers who drive the same route repeatedly can also suffer from fatigue that is caused by road hypnosis, which occurs when they see the same sights over and over.
Medical conditions and the conditions in the cab of the truck can lead to fatigue. Sleep apnea and diabetes are two conditions that might lead to fatigue while driving. A hot, stuffy cab can also cause a driver to feel fatigued.
Non-driving duties can also lead to fatigue. This could occur if the trucker has to spend time loading and unloading the truck. In the case of a bus driver, time waiting on passengers to eat meals, embark and disembark could all be factors that impact the driver’s ability to stay awake and alert.
Source: Stop Unsafe Trucks, “Accidents & Fatigue,” accessed Jan. 20, 2017