Drowsy driving is never a good idea, but it is particularly dangerous for truck drivers. When behind the wheel of a big rig, the driver is responsible for thousands of pounds of metal, enough to easily cause significant multi-vehicle accidents. Driving a truck is also more complicated than piloting a small sedan, so even a momentary lapse in concentration or consciousness can be impossible to recover from quickly enough to prevent disaster.
Luckily the signs of drowsiness while driving are often very clear, and include:
- Excessive blinking, particularly if the eyelids feel heavy
- Losing track of thoughts
- Being suddenly unaware of how many miles have passed
One of the clearest signals of fatigue or drowsiness is yawning. Yawning is often the body’s way of communicating that rest is needed, and when a truck driver yawns repeatedly over a relatively short period of time, stopping for sleep is indicated. Failing to do so puts the driver and others at risk, and there is never a good reason to put people at unnecessary risk.
Unfortunately, many aspects of truck driver life encourage drowsy driving. Drivers pile up thousands of miles at a time, and repetitive driving can amplify tiredness through boredom. The need to get a load to a certain place by a certain time can also be a significant factor, as it motivates drivers to squeeze in extra miles even when the first signs of fatigue have become apparent.
If you or someone you love has been involved in a truck accident, determining whether or not the driver may have been drowsy is important. Unfortunately this can be a difficult fact to prove. Please consider reaching out to an experienced attorney who can help you access any information that might help you make your case.