If you have ever continued to drive when you felt drowsy, you know that you have trouble seeing signs, your reaction times are slower and the actions of other drivers seem confusing. Imagine that instead of driving your car, you are driving an 80,000-pound loaded semi along a New Jersey highway.
What are some problems experienced by truck drivers?
While the issues that plague you as a passenger car driver are still there, your stopping time doubles, you have more blind spots and your turning radius is larger. It is easy to understand why there are so many New Jersey motor vehicle accidents involving trucks, especially when you figure that truck drivers often drive for 11 hours a day because they must get their loads to their destination.
Frequency and causes of New Jersey truck accidents
Approximately 32 people die in semi crashes in New Jersey annually. These accidents are caused by several factors, including:
- Driver inattention
- Following too closely
- Unsafe speeds
- Environmental factors
- Improper passing
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Improper lane changes
Contributing factors to semi-drivers driving drowsy
There are many reasons that a semi-driver may be driving sleepy. If you have ever experienced an afternoon slump that tired you, the same thing can happen to truck drivers. They are only required to be off the road for 10 hours before being asked to drive for another 14 hours, so it is natural to get sleepy. The average truck driver drives 2,500 miles per week. Furthermore, many sleep in the cabs of their trucks, which can cause them to get a poor night’s rest. Other factors that can make drivers seepy include taking prescription medications, inebriation and working unusual shifts.
Truck drivers who become drowsy can cause accidents. They are more prone to accidents because of the number of miles they drive and the fact that they get very little time off.