Truckers drive long hours with very heavy loads. When they aren’t in the best mental and physical shape, they might make decisions that put themselves and others in harm’s way. It is imperative that these professional drivers get enough sleep before they head out for a haul.
There are federal laws that set standards for the amount of time truckers can drive and how many hours must occur between driving shifts. This is done to try to ensure that they have ample time to rest; however, the system isn’t foolproof. Truckers who decide to go out and do things other than rest might still get behind the wheel without adequate sleep.
It is possible that even when a trucker gets enough hours of sleep that they might still suffer from fatigue. Missing quality sleep over multiple nights can lead to an increased risk of fatigue. Having to do physical, nondriving work before heading out on the haul can also do this. Night-time driving also poses a challenge because the body’s circadian rhythm recognizes this as a time when the person should be asleep.
Other issues can compound the problem. Medical conditions that affect sleep quality and medications that cause drowsiness are examples of this. Highway hypnosis, driving on familiar roads and being in a hot cab can also have negative impacts on the driver’s ability to operate the big rig.
A victim of a semitruck crash may need considerable medical care if they have catastrophic injuries. They might opt to pursue a claim for compensation to help defray the costs associated with the wreck. Determining the cause of the crash can help determine what parties should be named as defendants.