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The dangers of fatigued truck drivers


Driving while tired is a real danger for motorists in West Virginia. And while many drivers must travel well into the late night hours, it is important to understand the risks associated with drowsy driving. Truck drivers, due to their long travel routes, frequently travel during the night. Even though fewer motorists are on the road during the late night hours, the lives of other drivers and passengers are put at risk when fatigued truck drivers travel on the roadways.

Although federal trucking regulations restrict the hours truckers can drive without rest, not all truck drivers and trucking companies comply with these regulations. Truckers and their employers are under great pressure to deliver goods quickly over long distances, and some trucking companies push drivers to travel longer and further. What's more, some truck drivers fail to properly log their hours and take the proper number of breaks.

Fatigue can cause impaired reaction time and faulty judgment. It can even contribute to problems with vision, problems with information processing and short-term memory, increased moodiness and aggressive behaviors.

While these factors are bad for any driver, when the driver is behind the wheel of a 18-wheel truck that weighs upwards of 80,000 pounds, any collision with a car can lead to serious injury or death for the person in the smaller vehicle.

Personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits involving trucking accidents can be complicated. After a typical motor vehicle accident, the injured can recover compensation for their damages if their injuries were the result of another party's negligence. One of the main differences between trucking accident cases and other types of accident-related lawsuits is that there are more parties involved in trucking accidents. In many cases involving accidents caused by truck drivers, both the driver and the trucking company may be held liable. An attorney with experience in trucking accident litigation can explain how the process works.

Source: Drowsydriving.org, "Facts," accessed Oct. 16, 2016

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