Truck driver fatigue is a very serious issue, as it is one of the top reasons for driver-related accidents. There are millions of trucks on the road transporting U.S. goods every day of the year, and despite an effort to implement rules to improve driver safety, there has been a 20% increase in the number of commercial truck accidents over the past decade. Continue reading to learn more about the connection between truck-related accidents and fatigued drivers.
Top Driver-Related Reasons For Accidents
One 33-month long survey found that there were about 12,000 fatalities and injury crashes in the U.S. that involved at least one commercial truck. The most commonly recorded reason behind the crash was driver error, including non-performance, recognition, decision, and performance.
The top critical reason was decision-making, which meant that the driving was at fault for driving too fast for the road conditions, misjudging the speed of other vehicles around them, or following other vehicles too closely. The next most common reason was a failure in recognition, where the driver was distracted by something inside or outside of the truck or failed to observe the situation that caused the accident. Third on the list is non-performance, which relates to driver fatigue, as the driver either fell asleep or was disabled by a medical emergency. Last on the list is performance, which means that the truck driver panicked, overcompensated, and ultimately made the wrong decision behind the wheel.
What Is Driver Fatigue?
Driver fatigue not only refers to falling asleep while driving, but it is also a combination of drowsiness or inattentiveness that is extremely dangerous. Truck drivers must be alert and focused at all times, and a tired driver is at a higher risk of making minor mistakes that result in accidents.
Truck drivers often have challenging schedules that result in getting little sleep, and they are encouraged to hurry to meet deadlines. Although the exact causes of a crash are usually a result of many factors, the most common reason is that the driver is physically or mentally exhausted. When combined with poor weather conditions, driver experience, and vehicle design, fatigued drivers are at an increased risk of getting in an accident.
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