Rhett Hoestenbach, P.C.

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Fatigued driving is a major hazard among truckers

Texas has more miles of road than any other state. Most people choose to drive as a way of travel, which means sharing the road with large tractor-trailers. These giant vehicles pose some dangers even under ideal circumstances. And unfortunately, circumstances are rarely ideal.

One of the major hazards associated with long-haul trucking is drowsy driving. In today's post, we'll discuss why drowsy driving is so dangerous and why it is so common among truck drivers.

A recent news article cites a statistic from the National Sleep Foundation. According to the NSF, a driver who has been awake for 24 hours is as impaired as someone with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.10 percent, which is over the legal limit. Although most truck drivers do not routinely stay awake for 24 hours, some have been known to do so (or come close) in order to make up for lost time or get a shipment to its destination by the deadline.

Quality of sleep is another factor that leads to fatigue. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration notes that nearly a third of truck drivers suffer from sleep apnea, a condition in which someone regularly stops breathing for short periods while asleep. Even when apnea doesn't cause someone to fully wake up at night, it does lead to very unrestful sleep. This results in fatigue and drowsiness all day long. Fatigue, combined with the monotony of driving for hours at a time is a disaster waiting to happen.

Federal safety regulators have tried for years to govern hours of service for truck drivers, including limiting time behind the wheel and mandating rest periods. But the problem of fatigued driving remains an incredibly persistent and deadly one.

If you or a family member has been seriously injured in a truck accident, drowsy driving may have been a factor. An experienced personal injury attorney can discuss the accident with you and help you understand your legal options.

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