Most truck drivers are careful drivers who perform their jobs safely. However, long hours, distractions and fatigue brought on by pressure to meet deadlines sometimes lead to accidents on the road.
When trucking accidents cause injuries, drivers may need legal assistance.
Distractions as a risk factor
A recent study found that activities such as talking or singing along with the radio do not pose an accident risk for truck drivers. However, other activities, such as reaching for food or drink, adjusting the seat belt or operating the instrument panel or mirrors significantly increase crash risk. The study made several key determinations regarding driver safety:
- The longer a driver’s eyes are off the road, the higher the risk of a crash
- Crash risk increases significantly after the third hour of driving
- Fatigue is most likely to contribute to crashes between the hours of 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.
The role of fatigue
Fatigue also contributes to crash risk, with the study determining that the eighth hour of driving has the highest rate of safety-critical events. Drivers reported that they suffer from fatigue due to a lack of recovery time, working odd hours, work overload, poor sleep and deadline pressure.
Distractions and fatigue can increase the risk of a crash for any driver. However, when combined with the large, dangerous vehicles and significant amounts of drive time that come with commercial trucking, these risk factors can lead to serious injuries and fatalities on the road. Motorists injured in trucking accidents may need to seek immediate assistance to recover damages.