Fatigue In The Trucking Industry

Often times, drivers in the trucking industry are on a vigorous work schedule. Driving for extended periods of time, often times throughout the night, can take a toll on the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle. Many accidents occur during those nighttime hours, when motorists are tired and fatigued.

For truck drivers, especially those new to the industry, changing their normal sleeping patterns can be quite challenging. Even those more tenured drivers can have trouble adjusting their sleeping routine should their schedule alternate frequently. The chances for hazardous incidents increases substantially during those nighttime shifts, and it’s up to the motor carriers to monitor that!

When drivers are tired, or not fully acclimated to their schedule, their alertness is compromised. And thus, those changes in alertness can create a decreased reaction and perception time. Unfortunately, drivers cannot be trained to combat fatigue. Often times, when we experience an overwhelming feeling of exhaustion, there are few things one can do to combat that. By adjusting driver’s schedules, or having them work for extended periods of time without adequate rest, the safety of those passenger vehicles sharing the road with these trucks becomes exponentially compromised!

Motor carriers need to give drivers a sufficient amount of time for breaks, so that they may rest and regain full awareness. At the bare minimum, drivers are legally obligated to rest and sleep under the FMCSR hours of service regulations. Unfortunately, the present standards on extended driving hours are still under much scrutiny, and should be changed to accommodate shorter workdays for all drivers.

Extended working hours, specifically during the night, is dangerous for both the driver as well as others on the road. Driving during the night, for an extended amount of time, places an even greater stress on the driver’s ability to stay alert. The driver’s fatigue, in addition to the compromised visibility of the night, makes it that much more difficult for the driver to perceive and react to impending hazards.

Motor companies need to consider the amount of time that they’re giving their drivers to recover from prolonged trips. Unfortunately, a fatigued drivers is just as hazardous as an intoxicated driver. Thus, the severity of the situation needs to be addressed sooner rather than later!


Should you find yourself in an accident be sure to call Brad Pistotnik Law for a free consultation! Brad Pistotnik and his team are ready to answer all of your questions and get you the support you need during a difficult time!


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