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Truck drivers struggle with fatigue on long hauls

Truck drivers spend long hours transporting cargo throughout New York and the rest of America. Drivers whose duties require them to travel long distances struggle the most with fatigue. Statistics about trucking accidents reveal the extent of the traffic hazards associated with long-haul truckers. Accidents arising from trips of over 51 miles accounted for 65 percent of commercial truck accidents. Surveys of truck drivers have exposed the disturbing fact that many of them have actually fallen asleep behind the wheel.

Various stimulants attract drivers who need to stay awake to cover many miles and meet delivery deadlines. The use of stimulants, however, could worsen the situation, especially when drivers turn to illegal drugs like cocaine or methamphetamine. The chemical effects of these drugs could interfere with cognitive abilities. A user’s attention span, decision making and motor functions could become erratic. As the drugs wear off, one might experience extreme drowsiness, paranoia or aggressive behavior.

Commercial trucks and impaired or exhausted drivers impose serious harm on the public every year. In 2016, crashes involving large trucks killed 3,986 people, and the fatality figures continue to rise. Most victims were riding in passenger vehicles, walking or riding bicycles.

A person badly injured in a truck accident could miss work for long periods of time or face lifelong medical issues. Filing an accident claim against the trucking company’s insurer could leave a crash victim vulnerable to a system meant to deflect responsibility and reduce payouts. However, a personal injury attorney could support a client who is struggling with medical bills and lost income. The filing of a lawsuit could produce a settlement that reflects the victim’s financial needs. An attorney could look for evidence of truck driver errors or negligent truck maintenance and challenge insurance company delay tactics.