No one likes to drive next to a semi truck on the road. It might be because you have heard of the frightening stories of semis coming over into someone else’s lane or a truck driver falling asleep at the wheel. No matter what the case, large trucks can pose a danger to Florida motorists.
As a car and truck accident lawyer, one of the biggest concerns I see plaguing the roadways are car and truck drivers participating in drowsy driving behaviors. While it is a dangerous behavior that should be avoided at all costs, it is even more deadly when truck drivers engage in this behavior. When truck operators get behind the wheel when they are tired, they can pose a significant danger to motorists and cause truck accidents as they have slower reactions and reduced attention to the task at hand.
Many truck drivers drive throughout the night and are considered shift workers. These drivers are at an increased risk for falling asleep while driving; however, most people don’t realize that fatigued driving occurs during the day as well. Even if a truck driver falls asleep for only a minute, it could still lead to a Florida truck accident as it takes a truck a longer amount of time to stop.
Many reasons why truck drivers are at an increased risk for falling asleep behind the wheel include:
- Driving long shifts
- Not taking breaks
- Driving over their allotted amount of hours
- Taking medications that cause sleepiness
- Driving overnight
The Proof is in the Numbers
According to the National Transportation Safety Board, approximately 31% of truck accidents in the U.S. are caused by driver fatigue. Other statistics indicate that approximately 100,000 accidents every year are caused by drowsy and fatigued drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. And, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that 16.5% of fatal car crashes occur due to drowsy driving. These astonishing statistics prove that drowsy driving is a huge concern.