Tired Truckers Often Cause Truck Accidents
Overtired truck drivers are one of the major causes of truck accidents on our streets and highways.
As truck accident attorneys, Garcia & Artigliere have handled many truck accident cases in which overtired truckers resulted in truck accidents and big rig crashes.
To combat some of the dangers presented by exhausted truck drivers with ongoing sleep disorders, a Harvard research team is working on creating a new type of screening tool to identify drivers at a higher risk for obstructive sleep apnea.
When used in conjunction with other screening tools, such as the standard hearing and vision screens already used, the test would eliminate a 2- to 7-fold increase in the risk of truck accidents.
But while being behind the wheel for long hours arguably takes a toll on all drivers, truck drivers also face additional pressure to drive as far as possible before stopping for rest.
Often required to drive 11 hours a day, truckers are prone to obesity, which is one of the leading causes of potentially deadly sleep disorders. It is estimated that 40- 60 percent of truckers are obese.
It is estimated that 18 million American truck drivers suffer from the sleep disorder OSA. Big rig truckers are the most dangerous on the road as they combat continual fatigue and exhaustion caused by long hours and poor sleep cycles.
In an effort to curb some of the dangers presented by overtired long haul truckers and to reduce the number of big truck accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is looking to reduce the number of hours truck drivers can be on the road from 11 hours per shift to 10.
This reduction could effectively prevent many big rig accidents. Research shows that the possibility of a big rig crash doubles from the 8th to the 10th hour of driving, and that the crash rate doubles again from the 10th to the 11th hour of driving.