Many stretches of I-10 are boring to drive along. Long-haul truckers who must drive this route might find the highway mesmerizing. This isn’t a good thing. It is one of the factors that can lead to accidents that cause fatalities or injuries. In fact, there are many factors that contribute to trucker fatigue. Looking into these is imperative if you suffer injuries in a semitruck crash. The underlying cause of the crash could prove to be a key point in your claim.
#1: Lack of sleep
Not getting enough sleep between shifts can lead to trucker fatigue. This is one reason why there are hours of service regulations that require truckers to stop driving after a prespecified number of hours.
#2: Highway hypnosis
The monotony of the interstate can cause truckers to feel fatigued. The trucker might zone out without actually falling asleep.
#3: No rest periods
Truckers need regular rest periods during driving shifts. Taking time to grab lunch or walk around a bit can help them to rejuvenate before jumping behind the wheel again.
#4: Driving on familiar roads
Familiar roads are easy drives. This can lead truckers to stop paying attention when they drive. In some cases, they might push themselves to the limit of their work hours based on thinking they can drive safely on familiar roads.
#5: Stuffy cab
A hot, stuffy cab can lead to trucker fatigue. Truckers who are in trucks without proper air conditioning during the Mississippi summers might suffer from this. Opening the windows can help these truckers; however, the noise of the road can lead to highway hypnosis.
#6: Irregular schedules
Trying to adjust to new work schedules can lead truckers to feel fatigued. They might not be able to sleep well on the new schedule. It takes time for the body to adjust to new schedules, but truckers might not have the option of taking the time they need to let the adjustment happen.
#7: Non-driving work
Many truckers have to load and unload the cargo on the trucks. This can mean they are tired before they ever get behind the wheel. Looking at the entire scope of work duties prior to an accident can clue victims into whether non-driving work might have contributed to trucker fatigue or not.
#8: Nighttime driving
Driving at night can lead to highway hypnosis. It also forces the trucker to drive at times when the body’s natural process says it is time to sleep. This can lead to fatigue, even if the trucker is well rested.
#9: Medical factors
Sleep apnea, diabetes and obesity can all lead to feeling fatigued. The United States Department of Transportation requires truckers to have physicals. Any medical conditions noted during the physical or in a regular doctor visit must be treate d.