It’s no secret that driving takes its toll on Texas truck drivers. Many accidents are caused by fatigued truck drivers; driving fatigued can be almost as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
What are the accident stats of fatigued truck drivers?
In 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) found that out of 4,311 fatal large truck accidents fatigue was a contributing factor in 886 motor vehicle accidents. That’s nearly one-fifth of all trucking fatalities that year.
Even more alarming is the fact that these numbers only represent those who were driving commercial vehicles when they fell asleep or became distracted by their phone and crashed into another vehicle or an object. The actual number of drivers falling asleep on the job could be much higher because many don’t know they have been fatigued until it’s too late to prevent an accident.
Why are truck drivers likely to get sleepy?
Driving for long periods of time can cause anyone to get sleepy, but there are other factors that can contribute to truck driver fatigue. Drivers may be on the road for days or even weeks at a time, making it difficult to get enough rest. Additionally, tight deadlines can lead to drivers pushing themselves to stay awake or driving longer hours than is safe.
How can people protect themselves from fatigued drivers?
If you see a truck driver who looks like they may be too tired to be driving, here are some things you can do to help prevent being involved in a car crash caused by their fatigue:
- Try to get the truck driver’s attention to make sure that they see you.
- Slow down and give the truck plenty of room.
- If possible, move to another lane.
- Contact local law enforcement.
Truck drivers reducing their time on the road can help reduce the number of accidents caused by fatigue.