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Trucker fatigue is a cause of accidents that can be prevented

Truck driver fatigue is a serious problem that puts drivers who share the road with truckers in danger. In around 40 percent of big rig crashes, driver fatigue is a contributing factor.

The evidence of the dangers of trucker fatigue are highlighted in various news stories. After the fatal semi-truck accident that left Tracy Morgan in the hospital and another comedian dead, it came to light that the trucker who was liable for the accident hadn't slept in the previous 28 hours. That case is proof that trucker fatigue can lead to very dangerous circumstances on the roadways.

There are a host of reasons why truckers might be fatigued. Medical conditions, tight scheduling, road conditions, lack of sleep, and non-driving duties can all lead to truckers being fatigued. It is critical that all trucking companies take steps to ensure that truckers are able to safely drive for every shift.

Truckers must be given ample time to recover after each driving shift. Hours that are spent doing work-related duties that aren't driving should be factored into the shift hours. When possible, truckers should be encouraged to drive during the day because driving at night can affect the body's normal sleep-wake pattern in a way that contributes to fatigue.

If you were injured in an accident caused by a trucker, you should explore the possibility of driver fatigue as a cause. Checking the driver's logs is one way that you might be able to determine if fatigued played a part in the accident. You can use that information in your claim for compensation if it is determined that trucker fatigue caused the accident.

Source: Stop Unsafe Trucks, "Accidents & Fatigue," accessed Dec. 23, 2015

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