What Makes Drowsy Truck Drivers So Dangerous

missouri truck driver yawning

We don’t have to tell you that you are facing a lot of potential dangers when you are on the road. Some of them come directly from your behavior, like using your mobile phone when driving or speeding, but others will be directly caused by other motorists. Statistically speaking, there are some categories of drivers that you can meet on the road that are more dangerous than others: teenagers, drunk drivers, and tired drivers.

If you think that driving when tired is just more difficult, but not a reason to pass the wheel to someone else or take a break, you should have a look at the data over the years. Drowsiness behind the wheel is one of the top reasons for deadly accidents in the US. In fact, drowsy driving is considered by many to be similar to driving drunk.

What Makes Drowsy Truck Drivers So Dangerous

Commercial drivers are far more likely to drive while drowsy than other drivers. They drive almost daily, for long hours, and don’t always get the recommended resting time they would need. Sometimes they also have other tasks besides driving, like loading and unloading the merchandise on destination.

Driver fatigue makes you far more susceptible to accidents, as you are not able to react as promptly as normally. Tired drivers sometimes forget to signal when changing lanes or check the blind spots. With trucks, blind spots are already covering quite a big part of the view, so it’s more likely for them to have a collision.

The legally required recovery periods aren’t necessarily always enough to get the truck driver enough rest. Even if the company he works for will make sure he doesn’t drive more than the law mandates, it’s still not possible to predict whether he will have a good night’s sleep or not before driving for 10 hours straight. Regular schedules and resting conditions should always be checked closely.

How to Stay Safe

If you are wondering what preventive measures you should take to ensure you are as safe from harm as possible, here are some tips.

  • Try not to engage in risky maneuvers that involve passing trucks like staying close to them or driving in their blind spots
  • Keep a safe distance between you and any truck
  • Avoid driving long distances at the times of day when it’s more likely to be drowsy: midnight to early morning and late afternoon
  • Learn to detect drowsy driving in other drivers: they drift off their lane, hitting the rumble strips, etc. Then stay away from them.

If you were involved in an accident caused by a drowsy truck driver don’t hesitate to speak with an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney. They can help ensure that evidence is collected and your legal right to compensation is protected right from the start of your claim. Give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE case evaluation.

Updated: August 13, 2021