While most people in Georgia can agree that semi-trucks are an essential part of commerce in the state, it is not always safe to share the road with semi-trucks. Truckers may drive long hours, often through the night, in order to make deliveries as quick as possible. This could lead to truck driver fatigue and subsequent drowsy driving accidents.
How big is the drowsy driving issue among truckers?
According to one study, 13 percent of truckers were fatigued at the time that they caused a truck accident. Truckers are often financially incentivized to make quick and frequent deliveries. Due to the fact that trucking involves a significant amount of strenuous work and mental exhaustion, it is easy to see how a fatigued trucker could cause a drowsy driving accident.
What could cause drowsy driving among truckers?
Drowsy driving can occur under a number of circumstances. First, driving overnight disrupts our natural circadian wake/sleep rhythm. Driving during a natural “lull” could significantly impact a motorist’s performance and alertness.
In addition, if a trucker skips meals or eats at irregular times, this could lead to drowsiness. This could slow reaction time, make it difficult to pay attention to the road, and it could impact your memory, awareness and mood. Finally it could reduce your ability to exercise good judgment.
Also, certain over-the-counter medications as well as prescription medications list drowsiness as a side effect which could impact one’s ability to remain alert while driving. One study reports that 17% of truckers involved in a truck accident had used over-the-counter medications at the time of the collision.
Take action if you were injured in a truck accident
Truck accidents have the potential to be catastrophic, due to the sheer size disparity between a fully-loaded semi-truck and a standard automobile. Truck drivers must take the necessary precautions to avoid drowsy driving. If you were injured in an accident caused by a drowsy trucker in the Atlanta metro area, you may want to consider all your legal options, including pursuing a personal injury claim if appropriate.