Is “trucker fatigue” a problem in Oklahoma City?
“Trucker fatigue” is a term used to describe the effect of long driving hours on truck drivers. It does not simply mean falling asleep at the wheel-the effects of Oklahoma trucker fatigue can happen much earlier than that.
Why are we prone to trucker fatigue crashes in Oklahoma City?
- Truck density. The number of trucks traveling through the state increases the odds of a collision-and the long hours truckers put in further increase the risk.
- Solo driving. Truckers usually travel their routes alone. Without a copilot, the truck driver has to rely on himself to stay awake and monitor his own level of alertness.
- No braking. Fatigue accidents have a heavier impact because a driver that falls asleep at the wheel does not usually brake before the collision.
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When a truck driver is on the road for an extended period, he may become irritable, bored, or begin to suffer from eyestrain or “highway hypnosis.” All of these things qualify as trucker fatigue, because they all affect the driver’s concentration and lessen response time in the event of an accident.
A few facts you may not know about trucker fatigue:
- Overtiredness can lead to micro-sleeping, or falling asleep for 10 seconds or less. Since 10 seconds can make the difference between life and death, truckers should know the warning signs before micro-sleeping becomes a possibility.
- Many truck drivers suffer from sleep apnea, or interruptions in sleep due to breathing problems. As a result, truck drivers may not be properly rested for the entirety of their journey.
- Truckers may ignore the early signs of fatigue, such as soreness or eyestrain, in order to make a deadline. Resting for just 15 minutes can greatly increase alertness for several hours afterward-but many truckers are unwilling to stop.
Truck driving is a stressful occupation, but that does not mean drivers are allowed to disregard the rules of the road. If someone you love was injured because a truck driver put his deadline ahead of public safety, we can hold him accountable. Call the Buxton Law Group today at (405) 604-5577 for information from an experienced Oklahoma City semi accident attorney.