Truck Driver Fatigue and How to Protect Yourself

Trucks are vital to our economy. They ship products we use every day from household electronics, clothing, and food to home appliances. In fact, in many cases prices on consumer products are reduced because of truck shipping. Unfortunately, our demand for products is sort of a “two headed snake.” Because we enjoy the convenience of more product availability and lower prices, drivers are required to carry heavier loads, drive more miles and in some cases break the law in the process.

Driver fatigue and sleep deprivation is the root cause of many truck accidents. Thousands of citizens are injured every year because of truck accidents. When drivers carry loads that exceed the legal cargo weight limits or spend more time behind the wheel than laws allow, innocent people are put at risk.

Advocate groups have long fought for non-mileage based pay for drivers. When drivers are paid by the mile they instantly have an incentive to keep their truck on the road so they can make more money. We can’t always blame the driver. Their orders are handed down and they’re only doing their job and everyone would like to make more money. But sometimes the driver may in fact be the cause by maintaining two mileage log books or the shipping company may have handed a route with an irresponsible delivery schedule. Sometimes the accident may be the result of poor or improper maintenance on the truck itself. Whatever the case, truck accidents are typically devastating events for all parties involved.

How do you protect yourself and your family while sharing the road with big trucks? As a driver of a passenger vehicle you should always maintain adequate distance between your car and a large truck. 18 Wheeler trucks certainly don’t maneuver like a small car or passenger pickup so you want to ensure you have the necessary room on the road to dodge an accident or at least minimize the damage and your involvement.

You have probably noticed most, if not all shipping trucks display a truck identification number and a telephone number on the back. This is there for a reason. It’s your duty to report the truck if you witness dangerous or reckless driving. Trucking companies pay out thousands and sometimes millions of dollars in damages to accident victims so you’re actually doing them a favor by reporting a driver that’s putting other vehicles at risk.