Semitrailers are larger and heavier than other vehicles on the road, and they are capable of causing significant damage when involved in accidents. Because of this, West Virginia truckers have the responsibility of driving safely and carefully as well as adhering to safety standards and regulations designed to prevent truck accidents. An important factor in the safe operation of a commercial truck is preventing drowsy driving.
Drowsy driving is a prevalent problem in trucking. Because of the nature of the job, the men and women who operate these vehicles are often behind the wheel for long periods of time, and they often battle fatigue. Tired drivers are more dangerous drivers, even when they do not fully understand how their drowsiness impacts their ability to operate a truck safely.
Drowsy drivers are dangerous no matter what type of vehicle they are driving, but tired truckers are especially dangerous. Because of the size, weight and stopping distance associated with a semitrailer, even a low-speed crash can cause significant damage. Truckers can fight drowsiness by implementing some or all of the following habits:
- Stick to healthy foods as much as possible while out on the road. This can make a significant difference in energy levels, helping a driver stay awake.
- Truckers may also need better sleep schedules if they struggle with fatigue on a regular basis.
- Staying hydrated on the road is important, and while caffeine can be helpful, failure to drink enough water can also make someone feel sleepy and distracted.
- Truckers should avoid distractions and do everything possible to be attentive to what is happening in front of and around their trucks.
Regular breaks and following safety regulations can significantly reduce the chance a fatigued trucker will cause an accident. Truckers should be able to recognize when they cannot drive safely, and trucking companies should not pressure drivers to violate hours of service guidelines or encourage dangerous habits to deliver loads faster.
Victim of a truck accident?
If you are the victim of a truck accident, it is possible fatigue played a role in what happened to you. A careful investigation can reveal if you have grounds to pursue compensation through a civil claim. After this type of crash, it may be helpful to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney about the legal options available to you.