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blog home Car Accidents Should I be cautious around big trucks on the road?

Should I be cautious around big trucks on the road?

By Ken Gibson on March 4, 2016

Yes. Big trucks + little sleep = Dangerous combo.

More than 30,000 Americans lose their lives on our highways each year. 4,000 die in collisions with large commercial trucks.

Many factors can cause a truck accident, but one that’s become more common recently is fatigued driving. Studies have shown that fatigue is a critical factor in up to 30 percent of fatal truck crashes. Fatigue is dangerous no matter what size the vehicle is, but the weight of a large commercial truck can greatly magnify a wreck’s destructive forces. After all, a truck with cargo can weigh up to 80,000 pounds.

When any driver is fatigued, reaction time suffers, and judgment is impaired. Sadly, most drivers are typically unaware of their diminished performance. However, a driver who has not slept for 24 hours is equivalent to one with a blood-alcohol level of .10 percent, which is more than twice the legal limit in many states. Virginia’s limit is 0.08 percent.

Truck driver fatigue has many sources: lack of sleep, long hours, stressful work, tight schedules, nighttime driving (when the body wants to sleep), monotony, physical labor in addition to driving, poor health and fitness, medication, and sleep disorders, among others.

Federal laws regulate truck drivers’ hours on the road, required break times, etc., but that doesn’t mean all truck drivers will get quality sleep, or that some drivers or companies won’t push the limits.

If you or someone you love has been in an accident with a commercial truck, call GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys today (804)413-6777 to learn more about your options in a free consultation.

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